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1923, BY xms 


November, 1923 




Twenty years have passed since the appearance of 
an earlier series of Studies of Familiar Hymns. They 
had been running through the numbers of " Forward," 
the young people's paper of the Presbyterian Church, 
and in 1903 were gathered into a volume. The recep- 
tion of the book was kindly kindly enough at least 
to make plain that a considerable number of people, 
who wished information concerning the hymns they 
loved, were willing to forego the primrose paths of 
dalliance with myths and rnisstatements, anecdotage and 
sentimentalism, and to be personally conducted along 
the straiter and less flowery paths of truth. 

The number of these stout hearts does not appear to 
diminish. It was indeed the author's discovery that 
after so many years the demand for his little book con- 
tinues, and is indeed larger now than at first, which 
has encouraged him to invite his readers, old and new, 
to accompany him a little farther afield. 

In motive and in method the new Studies are very 
like the old, even to the appending to each of " Some 
Points for Discussion " in " the hope (now renewed) 
that groups or societies of young people might be led 
to think over and discuss the message of the hymns 
they so often sing, sometimes, it may be, too thought- 

There are, however, between the earlier Studies and 
these two points of difference to which an old reader's 
attention may well be called. 



First. In making such studies it is necessary (now 
as then) to have some standard, common to author and 
reader, not only for the text of the hymns dealt with 
but also in allusions to other hymns. In the earlier 
book the standard was The Hymnal published by 
authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the U. S. A. in 1895. Since then it has been 
followed by The Hymnal . . . revised in ipu. In the 
present volume accordingly the Revision of 1911 be- 
comes the standard. The author wishes he could alter 
the plates of the earlier Studies so as to make all 
references to hymns there conform with those in this 
book. But in view of the great number of copies of 
The Hymnal of 1895 still in actual use in the churches, 
and for other reasons, this change is not now practicable. 

Second. In the earlier series there was no intended 
connection between the hymns studied no continued 
story: each of them being chosen for its own sake and 
with an eye upon the author's ability to furnish an 
autographed copy of the hymn by way of illustration. 
The plan of the present series is more ambitious there 
is a continued story. The hymns, with one exception 
that will explain itself, are arranged in chronological 
order, and were chosen as representative of the histori- 
cal development of hymnody and of hymn singing 
among the peoples of England, Scotland, and America. 

The story begins with the joy and pride of English- 
speaking Christians in their new-found privilege of sing- 
ing God's praise in their own tongue, although with the 
restriction (suggested by John Calvin) that they should 
confine their praises to the very words of Scripture. 
It recounts the fading of the joy out of the Psalmody, 
and the growth of dissatisfaction with the restriction. 



It celebrates the advance of a young champion (Isaac 
Watts) to attack single-handed the authority and tra- 
dition of " Bible-Songs/' and tells how the great 
eighteenth century revival brought about the final vin- 
dication of the people's right to express their praises in 
terms of their own experience rather than that of 
" David." It goes forward to narrate how the spiritual 
forces of the nineteenth century dealt with " the hymn 
of human composure " it had inherited from the great 
revival ; and attempts to set some of our modern hymns, 
one by one, against the background of that particular 
epoch or phase of religious history out of which each 
hymn came in its turn, and which so often explains the 
content and even the form of the hymn. 

In the preparation of these Studies the great aim of 
the author has been the attainment of a scrupulous ac- 
curacy in smaller as in larger things; his great pleasure 
has been in the atmosphere of friendship with which 
that preparation was surrounded. His outspoken thanks 
are due to the Reverend Doctor John T. Paris, who en- 
larged his editorial heart to make room in " Forward " 
for so long a series of long papers ; to his associate, the 
Reverend Park Hays Miller, for that sympathetic en- 
couragement which makes the sunny side of honest work ; 
to Miss Anne Henderson, who read all these Studies 
in manuscript more than once (could kindness farther 
go?) to their advantage; and to Mr. Henry F. Scheetz, 
for his zeal " to make this book [outwardly] better than 
the last." 

September 22, 1923. 





liam Kethe, 1561 i 

(one of the original Psalms of the 
English Reformation] 


Rous 7 s Version, 1650 12 

(representing the 17 th century effort to 
improve the Psalmody in Scotland) 



Watts, 1707 22 

(one of the new hymns he proposed to 
the Independents) 


4. JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL. Charles Wesley, 

1740. 33 

(the great hymn of the Methodist 


nick, 1742 45 

(at the parting of the ways between 
Methodists and "Evangelicals"; il- 
lustrating the type of Christian ex- 
perience developed by the Revival) 




John Byrom, 1750 5& 

(a Christmas hymn from the Wesley 


Williams, 1745 68 

(a Lymn of the Evangelical Revival in 


Davies, c. 1759 So 

(illustrating the new hymn singing in- 
spired by the Evangelical Revival 
in America] 


ter Shirley, 1770 93 

10. ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME. Augustus M. 

Toplady, 1776 104 

(illustrating the hymn singing " Evan- 
gelicals " introduced into the 
Church of England) 


Daniel C. Roberts, 1876 119 

(a Centennial hymn, suggesting the con- 
nection of the Revival with Ameri- 
can Independence} 


Newton, 1779 130 


Cowper, 1774 142 

(hymns of Church of England Evangeli- 
cals carrying on the Revival in a 
country parish} 




Perronet, 1780 154 

(the hymn of a very independent 
Evangelical, who had worked at 
first with the Methodist and then 
with the Calvinistic side of the 
Revival, but preferred a little 
flock all his own} 



tish Paraphrases, 1781 167 

(one of the original " Translations and 
Paraphrases of Scripture" added to 
the Psalm Book of the Church of 



gomery, 1821 181 

(a new voice of the new century: a 
hymn inspired by the awakened in- 
terest in Foreign Missions} 


Elliott, 1836 194 

(a hymn- of the Evangelical Party in 
the Church of England, carrying 
on the traditions of the Evangelical 


Bonar, 1846 207 

(by a Scottish Evangelical, breaking 
forth into hymns that cannot at 
the time be sung in his own 





Alexander, 1848 220 


Mason Neale, 1862 232 


John Ellerton, 1866 245 


Stone, 1866 255 

(hymns of the High Church Party 
who in the middle of the century 
take the place of the Evangelicals 
as leaders of the Church of England 
hymnody and modify the hymnody 
of all Churches] 



Matheson, 1882 268 

(one of the later hymns of the Church 
of Scotland, whose hymnody is at 
length fully established on the same 
lines as in the Church oj England} 



miah E. Rankin, 1880 279 

(illustrating the lighter type of hymn 
and tune introduced under Evangel- 
istic auspices} 




(From the mezzotint by Illman Brothers} 


(After the portrait in the Museum Boijmans, Rotter- 


(From a copy of the Genevan Psalter of 1562 in the 
author's collection} 

(From a copy in the author's collection} 

FRANCIS Rous 19 

(From an old print in The Presbyterian Historical 
Society's collection} 



(From a copy in the author's collection} 


(From a photograph of the portrait by Sir Godfrey 
Kneller in the National Portrait Gallery, London) 


(From an engraving of the portrait by Gush} 

(From a copy in the author's collection} 


(From an old print} 


(From an engraving of the original drawing by G. Clint) 

(Reproduced from Curnock's edition of John Wesley's 




(From an old print in The Presbyterian Historical 
Society's Collection] 


(From the Hymnal of the Calvinislic Methodist Church) 


(From the poiliail at Princeton University) 


(From the original MS, in The Presbyterian Historical 
Society's collection) 



(Reproduced from " The Gospel Magazine " for Novem- 
ber, 1774) 


(From a copy in the author's collection) 


(Reproduced from Wright's " Life of Toplady ") 


(From an engraving of the portrait by L. G. Garbrand) 


(From a photograph) 


(From the original in the author's collection) 


(From a photograph) 


(From an engraving of the portrait by Russell) 


(From the original in the author's collection) 


(From an engraving of the portrait by Romney) 


(From a photograph) 


(Reproduced from " The New England Magazine ") 

(From a copy in the author's collection) 

PHILIP DODDRIDGE ..................... !y 

(From an engia-ui^g oj t,*e po, trait made i,i 1750) 


1781 ...... f ................... 175 

(From a copy in the author's collection} 


(Reproduced from the "Memoir" by Holland and 

JAMES MONTGOMERY ................. . . 185 

(From an engraving of the portrait by Chantrey) 


(From the original in the author's collection) 

CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT .................... 197 

(Reproduced fiom the "Selections" from her Poems 
made by her Sister) 

AUTOGRAPH NOTE OF Miss ELLIOTT ............ 199 

(From the fly leaf of a copy of the " Hours of Sorrow " 
in the author's collection) 

HORATIUS BONAR ..................... 2O8 

(From a photograph) 

(Reproduced from "Hymns of Horatius Bonar," edited 
by his Son) 

CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER ................. 222 

(From a photograph) 


(From the original in the author's collection) 

JOHN MASON NEALE ................... 237 

(Reproduced from "Letters of John Mason Neale") 

AUTOGRAPH HYMN or DR. NEALE ............. 239 

(Reproduced from his " Collected Hymns ") 


JOHN ELLERTON ......... 249 

(From a photograph) 


RAISE " 251 

(Reproduced from the Historical Edition of "Hymns 
ancient and modern } ) 

(Reproduced from F. A. Jones's "Familiar Hymns and 
Their Authors ") 


(From a photograph) 


(Reproduced from "Ike British Monthly") 

(Reproduced from a facsimile) 


(From a photograph) 





1 All people that on earth do dwell, 

Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice, 
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell, 

Come ye before Him and rejoice. 

2 The Lord ye know is God indeed; 

Without our aid He did us make ; 
We are His folk, He doth us feed; 
And for His sheep He doth us take. 

3 O enter then His gates with praise, 

Approach with joy His courts unto; 

Praise, laud, and bless His Name always, 
For it is seemly so to do. 

4 For why? the Lord our God is good, 

His mercy is for ever sure; 
His truth at all times firmly stood, 
And shall from age to age endure. 

The Hundredth Psalm. Translated into English me- 
ter by the Rev. William Kethe, while an Exile at 
Geneva, Switzerland. 

NOTE. The text is that printed in the incomplete Metrical Psalter 
published in London by John Day, 1561 ; without any changes 
except for the modernizing of the punctuation and of some old- 
time spellings. 


This version of the Hundredth Psalm, with "The 
Old Hundredth " Psalm tune that belongs to it, is a real 
antique. It is like a piece of old English silver plate, 
more stately and massive than our modern make. The 
Psalm and tune have been sung together, in England 
and Scotland and America, for more than three cen- 
turies and a half, and would be worth keeping in our 
hymnals, if only for their associations. For they take 
us back to the time when our forefathers first began 
to praise God in His sanctuary in their own English 
tongue. But in fact they still make a noble hymn of 
praise. To hear it sung solidly and reverently by a 
great congregation, with the support of the full organ, is 
a religious experience. It gives one's faith a fresh grip 
on the big and holy things that " shall from age to age 


It begins In Geneva. The city of Geneva lies within 
that part of Switzerland where the people speak French 
and not German. John Calvin went there in 1536 to 
help on the Reformation. He was a very shrewd French- 
man, and knew as well as Luther did that the best way 
to arouse the hearts of the people was to get them to 
singing religious songs. He asked to be allowed to make 
a start by having the children taught to sing Psalms in 
church, till the congregation should get familiar with 
them and feel moved to join in. But Calvin's rather 
severe way of looking at things, together no doubt with 
the uncompromising vigor of his character,, very quickly 
got him disliked both by the rulers and the people. Be- 
fore any of his plans could be tried out, he was banished. 



Calvin found himself the pastor of a little flock 
of French Protestant refugees in Strasburg, where all 
the German Protestants around them were singing the 
new hymns Luther and his friends had written for 
them. Calvin took some of the German tunes, set them 
to a few Bible Psalms and canticles translated into 
French verse, and printed them in a thin Psalm book 
for his congregation. But he took none of the German 
hymns. He was a bit suspicious of hymns. It is so 
easy, he thought, to slip false doctrines beneath the 
pretty phrases of poetry, and to lodge them in the 
singers' hearts. Why not sing the songs God has given 
us in the Bible, the Psalms, especially? Surely they 
are the best, true because inspired, and quite as beauti- 
ful as any man-made hymns. 

When they recalled? Calvin to Geneva, one of the 
conditions of his return was that he should have his 
own way about singing Psalms in church. And his 
own way took shape in a somewhat larger Psalm book, 
with some new versifyings of Psalms by the popular 
poet, Clement Marot, and some fresh tunes by an 
excellent French musician whom Calvin got to help him. 
Our familiar "Old Hundred" is the tune composed 
by Louis Bourgeois to fit the meter of the One Hundred 
and Thirty-fourth Psalm, in an enlarged edition of this 
Genevan Psalm Book printed in 1551. How it became 
the One Hundredth and not the One Hundredth and 
Thirty-fourth Psalm tune, we are now to see. 


Switzerland and England were far apart in those 
days. But Calvin's doctrines and his doings at Geneva 


were well known in London. The English Protestants 
had come to take Calvin rather than Luther as their 
model and leader. When they put together their first 
English Prayer Book, their thought had been to depart 
as little as might be from the structure and ceremonies 
of the Latin Mass Book and Breviary of the old Church. 
But the Prayer Book of 1549 was hardly printed before 
Cranmer began to make changes of a kind that Calvin 
would approve of. And the second Prayer Book of 1552 
was a very different book, more Protestant, more Cal- 
vinistic even. By that time many were hoping to drop 
the Prayer Book altogether, and use the simpler services 
Calvin had prepared for Geneva. They had already 
begun to sing metrical Psalms in church after Calvin's 
model an innovation in which the Chapel Royal itself 
took the lead. Just then the boy king, Edward VI, died. 
The Roman Catholic Queen Mary came to the throne, 
and many of the Protestants fled the country. 

A little company of these exiles, of the sort soon to 
be called Puritans,, settled at Frankfort. There they 
felt free to simplify their worship. But they were soon 
joined by another party of more churchly proclivities, 
who insisted that the full Prayer Book services be 
reinstated. That led to the historic "Troubles at 
Frankfort." The Puritan party left, and went to Ge- 
neva to be under the wing of Calvin. There they formed 
an English church, with the Scotchman, John Knox, 
as one of its pastors. 

The Englishmen were deeply moved by the sight of 
Calvin's great congregation in the old cathedral, with 
their little Psalm books in their own hands, by the 
great volume of voices praising God in their own French 
tongue, and by the beautiful melodies carrying the words, 


by the fervor of the singing and the spiritual uplift of the 
singers. The English exiles felt that their ideals of 
pure worship were realized, and had a vision of the 
cathedrals and parish churches at home, freed of " the 
last dregs of popery" and filled with the sound of 
many voices praising God in the holy songs He had 
put into their mouths. 

They had with them a few Psalms that had been versi- 
fied at home, and now they proceeded to prepare an 
English Psalm Book with tunes in it, just like Calvin's. 
There were scholars among them who could translate 
Psalms from the original Hebrew and several who could 
turn the translations into respectable English verse. 
The tunes were their greatest bother, because the meters 
of the tunes the Genevans were singing would be awk- 
ward to Englishmen. There was one tune, however, 
that to the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Psalm, in 
what we call " long meter," that seemed available and 
was certainly beautiful. And for its sake one of the 
exiles, William Kethe, chose the Hundredth Psalm to 
translate into that meter. And the words of his 
Psalm, " All people that on earth do dwell," were then 
and there married to Bourgeois' tune in a union so close 
and so lasting that it is hard to say which is "The 
Old Hundredth." 

Queen Mary's reign was happily as short as Edward's, 
and the exiles did not stay at Geneva long enough to 
complete their Psalm Book. Kethe's Psalm appeared 
in their last edition, containing eighty-seven Psalms. 
That was printed in 1561, and by that time most of the 
exiles had come home. The complete edition of the 
English Psalter was prepared at London, printed there 
in 1562. It was called The whole Booke of Psalms, col- 

f A Y..MJ-n,-- c -LSi-SLJ, J t X. _ 

Aaron Ie Preiire dc la LoyT 
- a Etqmdepjiislaccfttevientdefcendre 

; lufqu'a fa barbe>& en fm fe vient readrc 
Aux bordsdu faced vcftcincnt: 

Comnic rhumcur fc volt iournellemen t> 
Du nionc Hermon^ Sion decourir 
iErlc paysd'cmbasnoiimr:^ - 

: 5 Ainfi pour vray 'ccfce aflcmblee lieurcufe 

iVoirepouriamaisrse mourir* ^ 

JiCf 5 'U*w bencJivift* I? S E. C X X X U I'X. T. t> S B E. 

5 J 

72 * 

I fus > rcmitcursduSeignur* 4 Vaus . 

"qui dc nuit en fon honncwc Dedaas '& maifoa /; 

I a Lcuezles mains an phis iaint lieu 
h:>c ce reef-faint tern pie dc Die'u* - 
JEtle tosqulla mcricc , _. 

iSoic par vos benches recit ^ 
j 3 Dieuquiafait&entretient, 
j Et tcrre 8: ckl par fosn poavioir, 



lected into English metre, but is familiarly known as 
" Sternhold and Hopkins.' 7 

A strange thing is that Kethe's Hundredth Psalm 
was not in it. A less attractive version took its place. 
Kethe's first appeared again in an appendix of 1564 and 
in its proper place the following year. How that hap- 
pened we shall never know. 

The Puritan exiles' dream of a Church of England in 
which Calvin's Genevan order of worship should re- 
place the Prayer Book, was never to be realized. But 
they did succeed in rooting firmly on English soil the 
Calvinistic ideal and practice of having the congrega- 
tion's praise confined to the songs of Scripture. The 
Prayer Book and the Psalm Book flourished side by 
side. The curious result of this arrangement was to 
provide the Church of England with a double system 
of Psalmody, the prose Psalms already in the Prayer 
Book, and now its metrical Psalms in the Psalm Book. 
But there were no hymn books in the pews till after 
the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. 


As to the author of the Hundredth Psalm itself, 
the Bible gives us no information. As to William 
Kethe, who made this English version, we know very 
little. We do not know what he did in Edward VFs 
time. The old authorities call him a Scotchman. We 
know he was one of those who exiled themselves to 
escape the attentions of bloody Mary. He was one 
of the English congregation of rather radical Protestants 
at Frankfort, and left there to go with them to 
Geneva, where he became prominent in the English 


Church. He was nearer to being a poet than were any 
of his colleagues, and contributed twenty-four ver- 
sions to the exiles' Psalm Book. Besides his Psalms he 
wrote poems and religious ballads: Ms " Tye thy mare, 
Tom boye " becoming quite noted. He helped also in the 
translation of the Bible, which was another achieve- 
ment of the English exiles at Geneva. When he went 
home he was made rector of a church in Dorset, and 
was chaplain to the English troops in an expedition to 
Havre and in a later campaign against Popish rebels in 
the north. The preaching of a sermon in 1571 is the 
latest record we have of Kethe's life, though it may have 
continued till the appointment in 1608 of a successor 
in his Dorset rectorate. 


i. The English Metrical Psalms were printed com- 
plete about two years before Shakespeare was born, 
in April, 1564. The Psalm Book seems to have been used 
in the homes as a religious primer as well as at church. 
At any rate, the people in Shakespeare's time were re- 
quired by law to go to church regularly, and he became 
very familiar with the Metrical Psalms. He quotes 
from the Psalm Book several times. Indeed if we 
are to follow the modern text of his plays, he singles out 
this Hundredth Psalm for mention in The Merry Wives 
of Windsor (Act II, scene i), speaking of the awkward- 
ness of singing "The Hundredth Psalm to the tune of 
' Green Sleeves/ " And we are at liberty to conclude 
that Shakespeare was especially impressed by the sing- 
ing of the Hundredth Psalm to the familiar tune. 

But the old texts of the play do not read " the Hun- 


dredth Psalm," but " the hundred psalms." The present 
writer has given elsewhere * his reasons for thinking the 
old text correct, and that it refers to the title of a book 
printed at London in 1561 for the Dutch and Flemish 
refugees in England, and called Hondert Psalmen 
Dauids. The predilection of these foreigners for Psalm 
singing is noticed by Shakespeare more than once. 

In Longfellow's.TAe Courtship of Miles Standish there 
is also a reference to the Hundredth Psalm in metre, 
when John Alden heard 

" the musical voice of Priscilla 

Singing the hundredth Psalm, the grand old Puritan anthem, 
Music that Luther sang to the sacred words of the Psalmist." 

The reference here is to the tune " Old Hundred," under 
the supposition that it was one of the Lutheran chorales. 
But the words Priscilla sang were from Henry Ains- 
worth's version of the Psalm in his The Book of Psalms: 
Englished both in prose and metre. This was printed 
in Amsterdam in 1612, and was the Psalm Book the 
Pilgrim fathers brought to Plymouth. 

2. Like the lettering on an ancient stone, the text of 
Kethe's Psalm is read differently by different people. 
The first to give a new reading was an early printer 
of the Metrical Psalms who mistook the word " folck " 
(folk, people) in line seven. He printed it " flock " and 
was followed by later printers of the Psalm Book and 
by most modern hymn books. In the Scottish Psalm 
Book " Him serve with fear " is changed to " Him 
serve with mirth," and " The Lord ye know " to " Know 
that the Lord." Are such changes worth while? The 
Hymnal text is an attempt to print the original without 

* In the Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society for 
June, 1918. 


change except for the ancient spellings such as "yt" 
for "that," "ye" for "the," " shep " for "sheep," 
" indure " for " endure. 77 It is a puzzle whether we 
should retain the question mark after "For why?" as 
it means simply " because. 77 But why not? We like an 
antique for its very quaintness. 

3. The melodies Calvin had prepared for his Psalm 
Book are very lovely. But It has not proved easy to 
bring them back into use. " St. Michael " and " Au- 
tumn " in The Hymnal are arranged from Genevan 
melodies, but these have been subjected to rough treat- 
ment. The facsimile will show how we have changed 
the rhythm and movement even of " Old Hundred 7? 
by making all the notes of equal length. We have done 
it to our loss, many musicians think, and they are anx- 
ious to have the tune restored to its original beauty. 




1 The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want; 

He makes me down to He 
In pastures green, He leadeth me 
The quiet waters by. 

2 My soul He doth restore again; 

And me to walk doth make 
Within the paths of righteousness, 
Ev'n for His own Name's sake. 

3 Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale, 

Yet will I fear none ill; 
For thou art with me, and Thy rod 
And staff me comfort still. 

4 My table Thou hast furnished 

In presence of my foes; 
My head Thou dost with oil anoint, 
And my cup overflows. 

5 Goodness and mercy all my life 

Shall surely follow me; 
And in God's house for evermore 
My dwelling-place shall be. 

The Twenty-third Psalm in meter, as approved by the 
General Assembly of the 1 Church of Scotland in 1649: 
based on versions by Francis Rous, Sir William 
Mure, and others. 


NOTE. The text (apart from, a few spellings) is the original text 
of The Psalms of David in meeter, 1650, with the exception 
of the seventh line. In the writer's copy that line begins with 
" Into " and not " Within." The alteration was made at an early 
date, perhaps for euphony's sake, and " Within " became the ac- 
cepted reading of the authorized editions of The Psalms in meeter. 


The Hundredth Psalm, treated in our first study, was 
one of the songs of the English Reformation. This ver- 
sion of the Twenty-third is of Oliver Cromwell's time, 
land is altogether Scottish and Presbyterian in its origin, 
its use, and its associations. It is one of The Psalms of 
^David in meeter adopted by the Church of Scotland in 
1649, commonly called " Rous's Version " or " Rous " 
for short. Its real story can never be written. It was 
spelled out in the religious experiences of the most self- 
contained people on earth, the Scots." 

The story begins with the printing of the Psalms in 
meter at the end of the Scottish Bibles, in a day when 
there were very few books in the cottages, and the sing- 
ing of them twice a day at family worship as well as at 
church. Gradually the Psalms in meter became, even 
more than the prose Bible Psalms, the special word of 
God to His people in Scotland on every occasion of 
their lives, and especially in their times of trouble. 
There were Psalms that appealed to the dour side of 
the Scot and roused and sustained his combative in- 
stincts. But there was also a side of real tenderness 
in the Scottish heart; and this Twenty-third Psalm in 
fneter, most of all, touched it and brought it peace. 

Word by word, every line of this Psalm was engraved 
on the memory and clasped to the heart of generation 


after generation of loyal Scots. It was a home song, 
first of all, learned at the mother's knee, a household 
word; and then, as the children grew up and went out 
of the old home, a possession, or rather a part of their 
inmost selves, that went with them wherever they trav- 
eled or found new homes ; an inward vision of pastures 
green, a rod and staff of comfort on the way, and at the 
end a light in death's dark vale. 

It would not be difficult to collect incidents testify- 
ing to the intense feeling of the Scots for their Psalms 
in meeter, and for this Twenty-third Psalm in particular. 
Better still for such a purpose is a story of Ian Mac- 
laren, who understood so well the heart of his country- 
men. It is the story of an old Scot, hard and rugged, but 
laid low at last on one of the beds of an English hospital 
ward. He had just been told that he would die at break 
of day, but he had declined the ministrations of the 
chaplain, an Episcopalian. " He micht want to read a 
prayer, and a' cudna abide that." 

In the afternoon a good lady who had heard of the old 
man's loneliness came to Ms bedside and asked if she 
might not sing some comforting hymn, opening the book 
to find " Rock of Ages." He shook his head. 

" Ye're verra kind, mem, and a'm muckle obleeged to 
ye, but a'm a Scot and ye're English, and ye dinna under- 
stand. A ? my days hev I been protestin' against the use 
o' human hymns in the praise o' God; a've left three 
kirks on that account, and raised my testimony in pub- 
lic places, and noo wud ye send me into eternity wf the 
sough o' hymn in my ears ? 

"Yell excuse me, mem, for a'm no ungratefu'," he 
continued, " and I wud like to meet yir wishes when 
yeVe been so kind to me. The doctor says I canna live 

P S A" K M S 


A V 



long, and it's possible that my strength may sune give 
way, but all tell ye what a'm willin' to do. 

" Sae lang as aVe got strength and my reason continues 
clear, a'm prepared to argue with you concerning the 
lawfulness of using onything except the Psalms o' David 
in the praise o' God either in public or in private." 

" No, no," the lady said, " I did not know the feeling 
of the Scots about hymns. But I have been in the High- 
lands, and learned to love your Psalms. I have some in 
my book here." 

" Div ye think that ye cud sing the Twenty-third 

" ' The Lord's my Shepherd, a'll not want ' ? 

for I wud count it verra comfortin.' " 

"Yes," she said, "I can, and I think I love that 
Psalm more than any hymn." 

" It never runs dry," murmured the Scot. 

So she sang it from beginning to end slowly and rever- 
ently, as she had heard it in Scotland. He joined in no 
word, but ever he kept time with his hand; and, after 
she ceased, " Thank ye, thank ye," he said, and then 
both were silent for a few minutes, because she saw that 
he was in his own country, and did not wish to bring him 

"Mem, ye've dune me the greatest kindness ony 
Christian cud do for anither as he stands on the banks 
of the Jordan." 

For a minute he was silent again, and then he said: 

"A'm gaein' to tell ye something and I think yell 
understand. Ma wife and me wes married thirty-five 
years, and Ilka nicht of oor married life we sang a Psalm 
afore we gaed to rest. She took the air and a' took the 
bass, and we sang the Psalms through frae beginning to 


end twal times. She was taken frae me ten year ago, 
and the nicht afore she dee'd we sang the Twenty-third 
Psalm. AVe never sung the Psalm since, and a' didna 
join wi' ye when ye sang it, for a'm waitin 3 to sing it 
wi' her noo in oor Father's hoose the mornin's mornin', 
where there'll be nae nicht nor partin' evermore.' 3 


We spoke in the first study of the little church of 
English exiles in Queen Mary's time at Geneva, with 
John Knox as pastor, and of the English Psalm Book 
which they worked at and carried home to England, 
where it was completed in 1562. When Knox went home 
to Scotland he also took that Psalm Book, and there it 
was completed in much the same way, and printed in 
1564. And so the Episcopalians in England and the Pres- 
byterians in Scotland became Psalm singers in Calvin's 

The Scots kept on using the old Psalm Book for nearly 
a century. That brings us down to the effort of Charles 
I to turn the Church of Scotland into an episcopal 
Church, and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1639. 
Charles needed money to suppress the Scots, and had 
to call a Parliament to provide it. But the Parliament, 
mostly Puritans, declared war on Charles himself; and 
to secure the aid of the Scots, united with them in the 
Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, to preserve the 
Presbyterian Church in Scotland and to set it up in 
England and Ireland. Then it was that the famous 
Westminster Assembly was called, to prepare common 
standards of faith and worship for the three kingdoms. 
It was agreed on all hands that the churches should sing 


Psalms and not hymns. But what version of the 
Psalms? The Assembly recommended the Parliament 
to adopt a new version made by one of its own members, 
Francis Rous. 

He was an English gentleman of much distinction, 
a Calvinist by conviction, a believer in the Presbyte- 
rian system, and several times a member of Parliament. 
He was sent to the Westminster Assembly as a lay com- 
missioner, and was afterward Provost of Eton College. 
He made his metrical version of the Psalms in hope of 
meeting the widespread demand among the Puritans of 
the time for a more exact and literal rendering than that 
contained in the old Psalm Books of England and 

It seems a bit odd to us, who take such things lightly 
enough, that Parliament should wrangle over the par- 
ticular version of the Psalms to be used in church. It 
did not seem so then. The House of Commons agreed 
to adopt Rous's Version and ordered that it and none 
other be sung in all the churches of the Kingdom. But 
a rival of Rous, one William Barton, had many friends 
in the House of Lords, who put up a stiff fight for his 
version, and when the Commons 3 adoption of Rous 
came there for concurrent action, they succeeded in 
shelving it by having it referred to a committee. 

It did not matter much, for this first " Presbyterian 
Alliance " was soon to be broken up. The Church of 
Scotland, left alone again, adopted the standards of the 
Westminster Assembly, but hesitated about the Psalm 
Book. Finally, after three years of debating and tinker- 
ing, they adopted Rous's Version, though it had been so 
much altered and added to that it hardly deserved to 
bear his name. Such as it was, it continued to be the 



only praise book of the Church of Scotland until recent 
times, when the right to sing " hymns of human com- 
posure " has been won after bitter struggles. " Rous " 
was brought to this country also by the Scotch and Irish 
Immigrants, and was the chief Psalm Book of the Pres- 
byterian Churches in America. 


1. Seventeen Presbyterian or Reformed denomina- 
tions in various countries, some of them very small, still 
confine their praise to Bible Psalms and reject human 
hymns. So " the subject matter of praise " must still 
be a topic for discussion. These denominations seem to 
agree that God intended the Book of Psalms to be 
the only praise book of His Church until the end of time. 
As lately as 1905, two conventions were held under the 
direction of the General Assembly of the United Pres- 
byterian Church of North America, " to promote the 
claims of the Psalms in the field of worship." And the 
papers at these gatherings have been printed in an im- 
posing volume. It is doubtful, however, whether the 
cause was materially advanced by these means, or 
whether in the minds of the great majority of Chris- 
tians the old issue of Psalm versus Hymn is either alive 
or capable of revival. 

2. There are four versions of the Twenty- third 
Psalm in The Hymnal revised. 

The first is the one we are now discussing. Those who 
have inherited Scottish blood and traditions very likely 
feel that it has passed beyond the pale of criticism. 

The second, " The Lord my pasture shall prepare/' 
was contributed to the famous weekly, The Spectator, 
by the Right Honorable Joseph Addison. He was a de- 


lightful writer, and a gentle wind still blows over the 
" verdant landscape " of Ms Psalm. It is quite true, 
however, as Canon Douglass has said, that Addison was 
a great deal more fond of adjectives than David was. 

The third, " The Lord my Shepherd is," one of Dr. 
Isaac Watts's versifications, is hardly one of his suc- 
cesses. It is so hard and jerky. It was put in The 
Hymnal to gratify a prominent elder and warm friend 
of that book, who had associations with it. But he does 
not need it any longer, and the Watts version might 
well be allowed to drop out. 

The fourth, "The King of love my Shepherd is," 
represents the perfection of what we may call the 
modern " art and craft " of hymn-making. " How 
beautiful are Thy thoughts unto me, O God ! " the writer 
seems to be saying, as his pen flows on from verse to 
verse of the old Psalm. It is a gospel Psalm to him, with 
Christ, the Good Shepherd, holding the cross to guide 
him. The Rev. Sir Henry Williams Baker wrote it for 
the appendix to his Hymns ancient and modern, the 
most famous hymnal of recent times. And when he came 
to die, the last words that could be distinguished were : 

"And on His shoulder gently laid, 
And home, rejoicing, brought me." 

3. In the old days " The Lord's my Shepherd, 111 not 
want " was sung to one of the still older Scottish Psalm 
tunes, often perhaps to the one they called " French " 
and we call "Dundee." In modern days it is set to 
" Balerma " as often as to any other ; also a Scottish 
tune. "Walden," No. 577 in The Hymnal revised, was 
composed for this Psalm by a Canadian lawyer, and is 
well worth trying. 




1 There is a land o pure delight, 

Where saints immortal reign; 
Infinite day excludes the night, 
And pleasures banish pain. 

2 There everlasting spring abides, 

And never-withering flowers; 
Death, like a narrow sea, divides 
This heavenly land from ours. 

3 Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood 

Stand dressed in living green; 

So to the Jews old Canaan stood, 

While Jordan rolled between. 

4 But timorous mortals start and shrink 

To cross this narrow sea; 
And linger, shivering, on the brink, 
And fear to launch away. 

5 O could we make our doubts remove, 

Those gloomy doubts that rise, 
And see the Canaan that we love 
With unbeclouded eyes; 

6 Could we but climb where Moses stood, 

And view the landscape o'er, 
Not Jordan's stream, nor death's cold flood, 
Should fright us from the shore. 

Rev. Isaac Watts, 1707 

NOTE. The text is taken from the first edition of Dr. Watts's 
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, London, 1707, without any change. 


^ Isaac Watts was born on July 17, 1674, in that Eng- 
lish town of Southampton which many Americans 
know best as a port for steamships to Europe. If we 
went ashore we should find a " Watts Memorial Hall " 
and a statue of him in his gown and bands as a preacher. 
But it is his sacred songs and not his sermons that have 
given him his fame. In Southampton he passed his 
childhood, and there he spent some six weeks of the 
year before this hymn appeared In his volume of 
Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707. He had come back 
to the old home, weak from sickness and discouraged 
no doubt, and very likely these verses reveal the turn 
his thoughts took just then. 

The town lies on a swell of land within the fork of 
the Test and the Itchen rivers. It may well be that 
the view across the water of the pleasant meadows of 
Marchwood on the one side, or, on the other, of the 
lawns of Weston, glowing in the evening sunlight, sug- 
gested the lines: 

" Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood 
Stand dressed in living green." 

Our poet Longfellow said that until he saw the first 
verdure of spring on the meadows of southern England, 
he did not quite appreciate the meaning of " dressed 
in living green." "There are some of us," said the 
Rev. J. Brierly, "who can never look upon a green field 
with the spring sun on it without this hymn coming 
to us as a whisper from heaven." 


The subjects of our first two studies were versions 
of Psalms taken directly from the Bible. The subject 


of this is " a hymn of human composure " taken out of 
the writer's own heart. And he did more than other 
men to break down the custom of Psalm singing and to 
conquer the English prejudice against uninspired hymns. 
Tennyson says in one of his poems that 

The old order changeth, yielding place to new; 

And God fulfills himself in many ways, 

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. 

Now we saw in our first study how Calvin, in his zeal 
for " the Bible only," determined that even the songs of 
his congregation in Geneva should be taken from inspired 
Scripture, and so started the custom of Psalm singing. 
It was a " good custom " for the time. In France and 
Scotland Psalm singing became the very life of the 
Reformation. In England there was some opposition 
to introducing it, but the plain people took it up vigor- 
ously, and it soon became an established feature of the 
church services. So the Psalm Books were bound up 
with the Prayer Books. 

The singing of Psalms went on without change 
through the whole of Elizabeth's reign, and as long 
as the Church of England held together. In the great 
break-up of the Puritan Revolution some of the new 
sects then formed the Quakers, for instance gave 
up singing altogether. The large body of Independents, 
or Congregationalists as we should call them, gave up 
the Prayer Book but hung on to the old Psalm Book. 
They kept up the custom, but the life had gone out 
of the Psalmody. One of their young ministers,' Isaac 
Watts, said that the singing of God's praise is the part 
of worship nighest heaven, and its performance among 
themselves the worst on earth. The Psalms were read 


out, one line at a time, by a " clerk," and then the con- 
gregation sang that line and waited for the next. Very 
few tunes were used, and these were drawled out in pro- 
longed notes. " To see the dull indifference, the negligent 
and thoughtless air that sits upon the faces of a whole 
assembly while the Psalm is on their lips, might tempt 
even a charitable observer," Watts wrote, " to suspect 
the fervency of inward religion." 

By the beginning of the eighteenth century the Psalm 
singing in the Independent meeting-houses was so dis- 
tressing that many of the pastors were in consultation 
upon the situation. Watts, the youngest and bravest 
of them, had his own view of the root of the trouble 
and the remedy. The trouble, he thought, grew out 
of confining the praise to Psalms, many of which were 
inappropriate to our circumstances, and all were on a 
lower plane of revelation than the gospel. " We preach 
the gospel and pray in Christ's name, and then check 
the aroused devotions of Christians by giving out a song 
of the old dispensation." 

The remedy he proposed was twofold. First, a new 
and free translation of the Psalms written in the way 
David would have written them if he had been a fully 
instructed Christian living in the eighteenth century. 
And this scheme Dr. Watts ultimately carried out in 1719 
by publishing his The Psalms of David imitated in the 
language of the New Testament, and apply 'd to the Chris- 
tian state and worship. This book served as a bridge 
over the chasm between the Old Testament Psalms and 
the evangelical hymns, by which many congregations 
passed over without fully perceiving just where they 
were going. 

The other feature of Watts's proposed remedy was 




Spiritual Songs* 

Io Three BOOKS, 

I. Collected from the Scriptures. 
II. Compos'd on Divine Subje&s- 
III. Prepared for the Lord's Supper. 

With an ESSAY 

Towards the Improvement of Ghri- 
ftian Pialmody, by rhe Ufe of E- 
vangelic-al Hymns in Worfliip, us 
well as the Pisirns of Z>/w/V. 

By 7. WATTS. 

d*d they fwg a nnw Sang* *}***& Thou art 
verity* & c - /<' ttwi vjfl jhiht and bajt re- 
deemed *> &c. R-sv. 5, p^ 
'Soliti etftint (/, e, C'^iff'.mi) convenire, cajr- 
menqu-2 ChrHlu quad Deo 4icere Pliniw 
*\n FfUt. 

tfrimed by jf. ffuetfre^ foe 3"afej Lawrence,, 
at the Angei in the Ifctr.'/try. 1707. 




the introduction of evangelical hymns, freely written 
under the inspirations of the gospel and expressing all 
the riches that are in Christ. And this he was prepared 
to apply at once. He had ready, and printed in 1707, 
more than two hundred of his own in a volume whose 
full title can be read in the facsimile here given. The 
essay to which it refers was a rather cruel attack on the 
principles and prejudices of the Psalm singers, and a 
vindication of hymns. We have just the same right, 
he asserted, to compose and sing spiritual songs as to 
compose and utter original prayers. The Bible is God's 
word to us. Our songs ought to be our word to God. 

Whoever attacks an old religious custom or prejudice 
must expect to make enemies. And Watts made many. 
They spoke of his hymns as " Watts's whims." But he 
touched the hearts of the people, and one by one the 
Independent congregations came under the spell of the 
new hymns. We can scarcely appreciate all they 
meant to people who had never been allowed to utter 
the name of their Saviour in praise. Dr. Doddridge 
tells of giving out " Give me the wings of faith to rise " 
to a village congregation. Tears came to many eyes; 
some were quite unable to sing at all, and the clerk said 
he could hardly speak the words, as he lined them 
out. When something was said after service as to a 
possible visit from Dr. Watts, one of the company ex- 
claimed, " The very sight of him would be as good as 
an ordinance to me! " 

This popularity of the hymns is said to explain why 
so few copies of the earlier editions of Hymns and 
Spiritual Songs have survived to our time: the theory 
being that the great majority of copies were actually 
thumbed out of existence by rude but affectionate 



" Before her stood not an Antinous or an Adonis, 
not even a moderately presentable Englishman, but a 
minute, sallow-faced anatomy with hook nose, promi- 
nent cheek bones, heavy countenance, cadaverous com- 
plexion and small eyes." So it is that the latest 
biographer of Watts describes him in the act of pro- 
posing to the beautiful Elizabeth Singer somewhere 
about 1706. That Miss Singer had formed a high con- 
ception of Watts from his poems we know, and that 
his appearance disappointed her we may assume. But 
how does the biographer know that Miss Singer in re- 
jecting him said, " Mr. Watts, I only wish I could say 
that I admire the casket as much as I admire the jewel " ? 

It Is more to the point to remember that the aging 
face, beneath its monstrous wig, that has come down to 
us in the portraits may truly represent the famous and 
venerated Dr. Watts, but not the somewhat headstrong 
young man who wrote the hymns with the ardor of 
youth, and gave battle to the Psalm singers with that 
self-confidence and disregard of other people's opin- 
ions of which perhaps only youth is capable. 

The household at Southampton was religious, and the 
boy's thoughts were serious. " Fell under considerable 
conviction of sin, 1688, and was taught to trust in Christ, 
I hope, 1689; " so his diary reads. He inherited from 
his father a love of learning and a gift for poetry. It 
was like the plucky, undersized lad to stand up for the 
principles of his father, twice jailed for the crime of 
being a dissenter, and to refuse an offer to pay his ex- 
penses at the university, since admittance there involved 
a profession of membership in the Church of England. 



Watts prepared for the ministry deliberately, and 
became pastor of an Independent meeting in Mark Lane, 
London. Almost at once his health broke, and the rest 
of his life was a struggle between duty and weakness. 
Invited by Sir Thomas Abney, a distinguished dissenter, 
to spend a week in his magnificent house at Theobalds 
in Hertfordshire, Watts remained as an honored guest 
of the family for the rest of his life, some thirty-six 
years. He gave such service as he could to his long- 
suffering congregation in London, and managed to write 
many books, useful in their day, which gave him high 
reputation in university circles. He was probably the 
most widely esteemed dissenter of his time; but he 
himself regarded his " Psalms and Hymns " as incom- 
parably the greatest work he did for the Church. 


r. In looking over a line of old Sunday school hymn 
books, say from 1835 forward, one is struck with the 
considerable proportion of children's songs dealing with 
dying and the life after death. These songs reflect the 
tone of evangelical piety that prevailed among their 
elders: what the great novelist, George Eliot, described 
sarcastically as " otherworldliness." It was a time 
when Dr. Miihlenberg's " I would not live alway " was 
a favorite for church use. 

Then, gradually, the tone of piety began to change. 
" One world at a time," people began to say, " and now 
for this world, where our duty lies. It is more pious to 
rectify a foul drain, to minister to bodily suffering, to 
show the way to self-help, and to equalize the distribu- 
tion of the good things of life, than it is to sit and 


dream of heaven." In our day the reaction from " other- 
worldliness " is pretty complete. The heaven that lay 
about us once and then got far enough away to seem 
like a foreign country, has now to very many lost all 
reality whatever. How seldom now are these old-time 
hymns of heaven given out in our churches! 

This present situation suggests certain questions. 
Has the hope of heaven any proper place in Christian 
experience or in our gospel message to others? Is it 
right to teach children to sing of heaven; and if not, 
what is a suitable age at which those who love them 
might begin to make " mention of her glory " ? Or are 
there good reasons for thinking the time has arrived for 
expunging the songs of the heavenly home from our 
church hymnals? 

2. There are, no doubt, different types of hymns of 
heaven and room for a choice. In one familiar type the 
singer finds the body vile and the world evil. He turns 
to the inward vision of a risen body and a dwelling 
place free from temptations, and passionately longs for 
the deliverance of death. This type came originally 
from the monks, " in retreat " from the world, and 
their rhapsodies are not for everyone. St. Paul would 
have understood them and loved them, but for most 
people hymns of this type need watching in the interests 
of sincerity. 

This hymn of Watts is of a very different type. It 
is less ecstatic. And it breathes no desire to depart. It 
is the song of a young man who is at work and at play 
in the open fields of life where God put him, and likes it. 
He does not want to go home till after sunset. He 
loves life. He loves the vision of heaven, too, at twi- 
light or when things go wrong, though he does not 


cherish the thought of coining to the brink of the nar- 
row sea. But " A Prospect of Heaven makes Death 
easy " : so Dr. Watts entitled his verses. He meant that 
such a prospect helps to overcome the perfectly natural 
shrinking youth feels at the thought of death. And one 
sometimes wonders if for many of us, for most perhaps, 
this is not the most sincere and helpful song of heaven 
ever written. 

3. A recent writer in The Harvard Theological 
Review, commenting on the loveliness of this hymn, 
complains that Watts is as confident in regard to 
heaven's features and geography as of the country 
around Theobald's, and he is tempted to exclaim, " No 
such topography for me! " Is that attitude just? 

At the farewell dinner in New York to Charles 
Dickens, at the end of his last visit to this country, the 
brilliant George William Curtis, in closing his speech, 
turned to the guest and, bending toward him, said: 
" Old ocean bear him safely over ! England welcome 
him with the blossoms of May! " Is not that the 
thought running through the words before us? Not 
the topography of heaven, not the landscape of the un- 
discovered country only the thought of crossing the 
narrow sea to find those things of which spring and 
May blossoms are the symbol : green pastures of peace, 
the pleasant company of the pure-hearted, the sunlight 
of God's Presence over all. 



c Jesus, Lover of tray soul, 

Let me to Thy bosom fly, 
^Afhile the nearer waters roll, 

While the tempest still is high: 
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide, 

Till the storm of life is past; 
Safe into the haven guide, 

O receive my soul at last. 

2 Other refuge have I none ; 

Hangs nay helpless soul on Thee ; 
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, 

Still support and comfort me. 
All my trust on Thee is stayed, 

All my help from Thee I bring; 
Cover my defenceless head 

With the shadow of Thy wing. 

3 AAfilt Thou not regard my call? 

W'ilt Thou not accept my prayer? 
Lo, I sink, I faint, I fall! 

Lo, on Thee 1 cast my care; 
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! 

"While I of Thy strength receive, 
Hoping against hope I stand, 

X>ying, and behold I live ! 



4 Thou, O Christ, art all I want; 

More than all in Thee I find: 
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, 

Heal the sick, and lead the blind. 
Just and holy is Thy Name; 

I am all unrighteousness; 
False and full of sin I am, 

Thou art full of truth and grace. 

5 Plenteous grace with Thee is found, 

Grace to cover all my sin; 
Let the healing streams abound; 

Make and keep me pure within. 
Thou of life the Fountain art, 

Freely let me take of Thee; 
Spring Thou up within my heart, 

Rise to all eternity. 

Rev. Charles Wesley, 1740 

NOTE. The text is taken from John and Charles Wesley's Hymns 
and Sacred Poems of 1740, with no change except for the printing 
of the first word in the English rather than the Latin form. 

This, perhaps the best loved of all English hymns, 
is associated with the beginnings of the wonderful 
Methodist Movement in the eighteenth century, of 
which John Wesley was the leader and his brother 
Charles the poet laureate. 


About the time when Isaac Watts was writing and 
publishing his sacred songs, two sons were born in the 
parsonage of the village of Epworth to the Rev. Samuel 
Wesley and his noble wife Susannah, " Mother of the 
Wesleys." She was, in fact, the mother of nineteen 
of them. John was born in 1703, and Charles on Decem- 



her 18 of the very year 1707 in which Watts pub- 
lished those Hymns and Spiritual Songs that changed 
the worship of the Independent meeting-houses. The 
two brothers were destined to carry on Watts's work, 
and to win new triumphs for hymn singing in England. 
So it is worth while to note that the atmosphere of the 
parsonage was decidedly contemptuous of the old Psalm 
singing, as it was then carried on in village churches. 
As rector of one of them the father had to endure it. 
But he did not suffer it gladly, and said some very harsh 
things about it. He was himself a poet ? and his sons 
inherited not only their poetic gifts but their purpose to 
write something to take the place of what John called the 
" scandalous doggerel " of the old metrical Psalms. 

The two boys grew up together in the Epworth par- 
sonage, were at Oxford University together, were both 
ordained as clergymen of the Church of England, and 
in October, 1735, sailed together for the new colony of 
Georgia. John went as a missionary; Charles nomi- 
nally, at least, as secretary to General Oglethorpe, Gov- 
ernor of the colony. In John's kit there was a copy of 
Watts's Psalms and Hymns. And he was especially 
impressed by the constant singing of a group of German 
Moravian colonists on board. He learned from them 
what spiritual songs can do for the spiritual life. He 
studied German so as to translate some of those so dear 
to his fellow voyagers. In Charleston he published 
his first collection, and in Savannah was brought be- 
fore the grand jury, charged with introducing unauthor- 
ized hymns into church worship. 

Neither brother was successful as a missionary, per- 
haps because at that time their religion was of a rather 
severe and formal type. It was the remarkable spiritual 


experiences they passed through among the Moravians 
in London, after their return from America, that first 
gave to both brothers the peace and joy of a confident 
faith. These experiences changed their lives and de- 
termined their future careers. Charles started out as 
an itinerant preacher. John established the first of 
those meetings, called "societies," that were the germ 
of the Methodist Church. He went on translating and 
writing hymns until organizing and preaching absorbed 
all his energies. 

But in Charles's heart the new happiness seemed to 
open a fountain of spiritual song that never ceased to 
flow. He was naturally a poet, and now the writing of 
religious verse became to him nothing less than a pas- 
'sion. In recording a horseback accident on one of his 
preaching tours, he notes that his sprains and bruises 
and stunned head " spoiled my making hymns until 
next day." Every experience of his own, every scene 
and occasion of the Methodist revival, became the in- 
spiration of a new hymn. He wrote his first within a 
day or two of his conversion. He dictated his last to 
his wife from his deathbed, " in age and feebleness ex- 
treme." The whole number is little if at all short of 
seven thousand. The best of them are perhaps as 
good as ever were written. Most of them have some 
touch of hand or flash of thought that suggests a poet 
rather than a manufacturer. 

The unchurched masses among whom the Wesleys 
worked had of course no preference in favor of Psalms. 
They quickly caught up the new songs, and the singing 
became a characteristic feature of the field meetings. 
As the work went on, the hymns served as an outlet 
for the extravagant enthusiasm of the converts, and at 


the same time kept its expression within limits of reality 
and refinement. They were printed in cheap tracts and 
booklets for distribution among the people. As "so- 
cieties " were formed, new hymns were provided for 
the class meeting, the children, and the occasions of wor- 
ship, until finally, in 1780, John Wesley gathered up 
four hundred and eighty-six of Charles's compositions, 
with some others, into a permanent Collection of Hymns 
for the use of the people called Methodists. 

Charles Wesley was a different type of man from his 
great brother : not so commanding a personality, a helper 
rather than a leader, a poet with all a poet's moods, 
even moods of deep depression, emotional and impetuous, 
But probably he was the more lovable of the two men, 
with a great gift of winning hearts. The future of the 
Methodist Movement lay very heavy on his own heart. 
He saw it drifting away from its moorings within the 
established Church. He loved his Church with all his 
heart and felt no sympathy whatever with his brother's 
arrangements for establishing a separate denomination 
of Methodists in England and America. He wished 
the Methodist societies to remain as a part of the 
Church of England. This end he was unable to accom- 
plish against his brother's purpose, but as still a clergy- 
man of that Church, he died on March 29, 1788, and 
was buried in the yard of his parish church, Marylebone. 
" His least praise," his brother said, " was his talent 
for poetry." 


There are several differing stories of the romantic 
origin of " Jesus, Lover of my soul." The most familiar 


represents Charles Wesley seated at an open window 
during a storm, or sometimes on the deck of a vessel 
laboring under a gale. Then a dove (or sea bird), with 
its strength all spent, flies to his bosom to find a refuge 
from the elements. And that inspired the hymn. All 
these stories cannot be true, and there is no reason to 
believe that there is a word of truth in any of them. It 
remains a mystery that worthy people should care to 
circulate these apocryphal " incidents " of which the 
popular books are so full. 

We do not, in fact, know anything of the occasion of 
this lyric, except that it is entitled " In Temptation," 
and sounds like a real cry for help out of such an ex- 
perience. And there is no absolute assurance that Charles 
Wesley wrote it. It may have been written by John. 
The editors of the English Wesley an Methodist Hymn 
Book of 1875 went so far as to affix simply the letter 
W to this %mn, as a token that they did not know 
to which of the brothers it should be ascribed. 

The matter stands in this way. The brothers printed 
jointly three volumes of their earlier verses in 1739, 
1740, and 1742, with pretty much the same title 
Hymns and Sacred Poems. Published by John Wesley, 
M.A., and Charles Wesley, MA. This one appeared at 
page 67 of the 1740 volume. There is nothing in this or 
the other volumes to show which brother wrote any 
particular poem. Evidently the Wesleys wished it so. 
In course of time a tradition grew up that only the 
translations were John's and all the original verse was 
Charles's. This, we now know, is a mistake, and John's 
share is much greater than was supposed. 

What, then, is to be said of " Jesus, Lover of my soul "? 
Which brother wrote it? 


Anyone familiar with the Wesleyan poems will say 
that this one is more in the style and manner of those 
we know to be Charles's than of those we know to be 
John's. We can go further. John showed later a dis- 
like of anything approaching familiarity in intercourse 
with God, and especially of the use of terms of human 
endearment. He turned bitterly against the London 
Moravians he had loved so well, when they printed 
hymns with offensive amatory and fleshly images. In 
a sermon of 1789 he said that familiarity does not so 
well suit sthe mouth of a worm of the earth when ad- 
dressing himself to the God of heaven, and went on, 
" I have indeed particularly endeavored in all the hymns 
which are addressed to our blessed Lord, to avoid every 
fondling expression, and to speak as to the most-high 
God ; to Him that is ' in glory equal with the Father, 
in majesty co-eternal.' " 

Now if John's feeling about such matters was the 
same in 1740 as in 1789, and there are good reasons for 
thinking it was, then it is practically certain that he 
would not have written the lines, 

"Jesu, Lover of my Soul, 

Let me to Thy Bosom, fly." 

John, as the elder brother, took the privilege of criti- 
cizing his brother's poems very freely. There were 
many expressions in them which he did not like, and he 
often altered them before printing. That he did not 
quite approve the expressions in this hymn is shown 
by the fact that in selecting Charles's contributions to 
the large permanent hymn book of 1780, he left it out 
altogether. It was not inserted until after his death. 
On the whole, it seems that we may ascribe "Jesus, 



Lover of my soul " to Charles Wesley with a fair degree 
of assurance. The only absolute proof would be the 
finding of an autograph draft of it in the masses of 
Wesleyan manuscripts in the London Conference Office. 


i. Many people have claimed John Wesley's privilege 
of criticizing this lyric, notably that great lover of 
sacred song, the late William E. Gladstone. A friend had 
expressed in his hearing a warm admiration for it, and he 
had emphatically dissented. And his feelings on the 
subject were so strong that he was moved to write out 
his objections, even though immediately about to un- 
dergo an operation for cataract. 

Criticisms of things we love are not very welcome. 
But it might be worth while to examine the hymn 
anew in the light of Gladstone's objections: (i) That 
it has no unity. A number of ideas are jumbled to- 
gether rather than interwoven. " This is not a whole, 
for the parts seem to have no relation to one another." 
The theme clearly is that of a soul under stress of a 
great temptation calling upon Christ for help. Is that 
theme carried through consistently enough to give unity? 
(2) That the metaphors are constantly changing and 
crossing each other in such a way as to cause confusion. 
Thus Christ is at once a Refuge from a storm at sea, 
a Pilot into port, an overshadowing Wing, a good 
Physician, and finally a Fountain of life. What is to be 
said in explanation or defense on this point? (3) That 
" it has no procession. Every hymn should surely have 
a movement calm, solemn, and continuous. These zig- 
zags are out of keeping with the nature of the com- 


position. They jar the mind of a reader and set him 
questioning where he is and where he is going." Is 
it true that there is no development of thought in the 
hymn? Or is it just possible that there is really a con- 
tinuous "procession" of thought in which for some 
reason Mr. Gladstone's mind has failed to join and has 
remained stationary? 

2. Apart from criticism, the question has often been 
raised whether a lyric so tender and so deeply felt should 
be used in public worship or reserved for private devo- 
tion. Mr. Ellerton, the hymn writer, confesses that to 
him " Jesus, Lover of my soul " lies on the very border 
line between the two. An English bishop thinks it " in- 
expressibly shocking" to put such words into the 
mouth of a large and mixed gathering of people. 
Quaintly enough, actual investigation in the tramps' 
ward proved this to be one of three hymns most popular 
with English tramps. The other two are " Lead, kindly 
Light " and " Abide with me." 

3. John Wesley was surely right in objecting to fa- 
miliarity and fondling expressions in our hymns. Might 
it not be well if some of our modern gospel songs were 
submitted to that test? It is, however, a question how 
far these objections apply to the first two lines of this 
hymn. Charles Wesley used "Lover" in the divine 
and not our human sense, taking it from the apocryphal 
book, The Wisdom of Solomon: " But thou sparest all, 
because they are Thine, O Lord, Thou Lover of souls." 
The imagery of the second line is that of St. John lying 
on the bosom of his Lord. It is true, however, that we 
are not all St. Johns. A host of editors have proposed 
alterations of these lines, and have succeeded in com- 
pletely spoiling the poetry of them. 


4. The editors have also tried their hand on the third 
line. Some of us remember when "While the billows 
near me roll JJ was the familiar reading. Is there any 
occasion for alteration? Dr. Julian says: "In life, 
as in nature, storms are local. One ship may be dashed 
hither and thither by the fury of the nearer waters, 
whilst another is sleeping in the far distance on a throb- 
less sea. Men cry for help, not against dangers which 
are both distant and undefined, but out of the depths 
of their immediate troubles." 

5. The Hymnal revised is one of the very few books 
that print the whole of these five verses just as " W " 
wrote them. The custom is to omit the third verse. 
But then the third verse is exceptionally good. And 
if we wish a four-verse hymn, is it not worth while to 
consider the dropping out of the fourth verse and the 
retaining of this ? 



1 Children o the heavenly King, 
As ye journey, sweetly sing; 

Sing your Saviour's -worthy praise, 
Glorious in His works and ways* 

2 We are traveling home to God 
In the way the fathers trod; 
They are happy now, and we 
Soon their happiness shall see. 

3 Shout, ye little flock and blest; 
You on Jesus' throne shall rest; 
There your seat is now prepared, 
There your kingdom and reward. 

4 Lift your eyes, ye sons of light, 
Zion's city is in sight; 

There our endless home shall be, 
There our Lord we soon shall see. 

5 Fear not, brethren; joyful stand 
On the borders of your land; 
Jesus Christ, your Father's Son, 
Bids you undismayed go on. 

6 Lord, obediently we go, 
Gladly leaving all below; 
Only Thou our Leader be, 
And we still -will follow Thee. 

Rev. John Cennick, 1742 


NOTE: The text here given is abridged (to its great gain) from 
the twelve verses of the original as printed by Cennick, in the 
third part of his Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, in the 
days of their pilgrimage, London, 1742. The verses selected are 
the original first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, printed 
without change, except of spelling and punctuation. 

This is one of the earlier hymns of the great eighteenth 
century revival, written by an eager young convert, 
John Cennick. He became a Methodist lay preacher 
first of all, but soon ranged himself with Whitefield as 
opposed to Wesley's theology. In the end he found 
his true home among the most simple-hearted of all 
God's people, the Moravians. 


When Cennick printed his first little book of hymns 
he prefixed a sort of confession or spiritual auto- 
biography. It began, " Perhaps it may not be unuseful 
for some of those, who may read the following Verses, 
to know the Manner wherein GOD has dealt with the 
Soul of him who wrote them!' That is still good advice 
to us if we wish to study Cennick's, or indeed any of 
'the hymns of the great Revival. Those eighteenth- 
century hymns are different from most later hymns. 
They are the outpourings of converts who have passed 
through such struggles in finding peace that ever after- 
wards spiritual experiences seemed to them the most 
real thing in life, and the inward state of one's soul the 
only thing that mattered much. The common feature 
of these experiences, but the feature hardest for an easy- 
going twentieth century Christian to understand, is the 
dark despairs and acute agonies they had to endure 


under the grip of "the conviction of sin." Some of 
them were reduced to a disorder of mind and body close 
to the borders of insanity ; but one and all of these con- 
verts credited not only their deliverance but their suffer- 
ings also to the hand of God. Cennick's case was 
peculiar only in the degree of his sufferings and in his 
ability to express the joy of his deliverance. 

He was born in the English town of Reading on Decem- 
ber 12, 1718, being eleven years younger than Charles 
Wesley. His family was respectable but somewhat im- 
poverished. His mother trained him carefully in the 
ways of Church of England religion, and the child appears 
to have been unusually assiduous in attending St. 
Laurence's Church. What he and many like him seem 
to have gained from the religious training of the time 
was a conscience made sensitive by the fear of penalties, 
and a constant dread of God that spoiled one's pleasures 
but was not allayed by observing church ordinances. 

When Cennick went up to London to learn a trade he 
fell, no doubt, into more careless ways of living; until, 
while walking in Cheapside one day in 1735, he was 
suddenly stricken down with an overwhelming sense of 
sin, as though felled by God's hand. He sank at once 
into an abject fear and hopeless despondency, from 
which through two bitter years he found no escape. 

Within his conscience seared like a hot iron; without 
" everything seemed strange and wild," and there was 
no refuge in heaven or earth. He longed to hide himself 
in some lonely cave and to sustain life on acorns and 
leaves ; hoping indeed that he might not sustain it and 
yet afraid of the death he craved. He tried fasting, 
and in his weakened condition began to see apparitions 
and to hear approaching footfalls of the Devil. He 


shrank from the faces of men, and thought men shrank 
from him and that friends grew cold. 
Finally it was in August, 1737 he resolved in his 

despair to cast himself on God's mercy and leave the 
rest with Him. Still waiting on Him in dejection, at 
home one day in September, he heard " the Saint's Bell 


ring at St. Laurence's Church for Prayers." He felt 
constrained to attend. " Near the end 0} the Psalms, 
when these Words were read: Great are the Troubles 
of the Righteous but the LORD delivereth him out of 
them all ! And he that putteth his Trust in GOD shall 
not be destitute: / had just Room to think, Who can 
be more destitute than me? when I was overwhelmed 
with Joy, I believed there was Mercy. My Heart 
danced for Joy, and my dying Soul reviv'd! I heard 
the Voice of JESUS saying, I am thy Salvation. / no 
more groaned under the Weight of Sin. The Fear of 
Hell was taken away, and being sensible that CHRIST 
loved me, and died for me, I rejoiced in GOD, my 

So sudden a change brings its own perplexities. 
Cennick found help in Whitefield's newly printed 
Journal, and sought the counsel of both him and John 
Wesley. They encouraged him and found a position 
for him as a teacher in a school for coal miners' children 
at Kingswood. There he at once began to preach to 
the miners and attained what, historically speaking, is 
his special distinction: he was in all probability the 
first of the " lay preachers " of Methodism. 


George Whitefield, and not Wesley, had been the 
original field preacher, and in the early days of the 
revival the two men had worked hand in hand. But 
in 1739, after Whitefield had gone to America on his 
revival tour, the Wesleys put out a pamphlet bitterly 
attacking the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination. 
" My dear Brothers," Whitefield wrote, " why did you 


throw out the bone of contention? " It was a bone of 
contention indeed. Soon afterward John Wesley notes 
a marked change in Cennick's manner toward him. 

When Whitefield came home from America in 1741, 
the rift widened into a permanent breach between the 
Methodists and Calvinists, with Whitefield as the leader 
of the Calvinists. Cennick broke with the Wesleys, 
became a helper in Whitefield's revival work, and so 
continued for four years. 

He had begun to write hymns while a Methodist, 
but it was during those four years that he printed all 
of his hymns which are now remembered. In emulation 
of the Wesleys on the Methodist side, it may have been ; 
but whether so or not, he was for those years as indus- 
trious a maker of hymns as was Charles Wesley himself, 
printing very nearly five hundred. 

Cennick began to print his hymns in 1741 as Sacred 
Hymns for the Children of God, in the days of their 
pilgrimage. So rapid was his production that a second 
and a third part appeared in 1742. In the year following 
he published in two parts Sacred Hymns for the use of 
Religious Societies. Generally composed in DIA- 
LOGUES. By societies he meant companies of people 
who met together, apart from the church services, to 
cultivate the religious life. By " dialogues " he meant 
what we call singing antiphonally or responsively. He 
had in mind the Moravian custom of arranging the 
people in separate choirs, according to age or sex: one 
choir singing the first line or lines of each verse, the 
other responding with the line or lines following. And 
in his little book he made this practicable by printing 
some lines of the verses in roman type, and some in 
italics; like this: 


"We sing to Thee, Thou Son of GOD! 

Who Sav'd us by thy Grace: 
We praise Thee, Son of Man! whose Blood 
Redeem' d our fatten Race." 

The Moravians already had formed societies in Lon- 
don, and very evidently Cennick was being attracted 
toward them, just as John Wesley was ; but in Cennick's 
case it was the call of the blood inherited from a Mora- 
vian ancestry and still at work through the quaint 
compellings of heredity. Cennick did not resist the 
call. He left Whitefield and joined the Moravians. His 
later years were spent partly in the spread of 
Moravianism in England and Ireland, and partly in 
visiting Germany. He came back to London in great 
feebleness in June of 1755, and on the fourth of July 
died there. 

He was a man " rather below the middle stature," 
Rev. Matthew Wilks says, " of a fair countenance, but 
of a fairer mind. A good understanding, an open temper, 
and a tender heart characterized the man." He was 
distinguished by " unaffected humility, deadness to the 
world, a life of communion with God, and a cheerful 
reliance on a crucified Saviour." All of which is a good 
hearing. If John Wesley dubbed Cennick " that weak 
man," we can understand it. A follower who vacillates 
is always weak to a great and single-hearted leader. 


Of Cennick's familiar hymns, the one we are now 
studying appeared in 1742 in the third part of the 
Sacred Hymns for the Children of God. " We sing to 
Thee, Thou Son of God " appeared a year later in Hymns 


for the use of Religious Societies. Whitefield liked 
Cennick's hymns, and liked his idea of singing in 
" Dialogue." It was because Whitefield put these two 
and others of Cennick's hymns into the hymn book 
he made for his London Tabernacle in 1753 that they 
became so widely known and sung. 

Cennick was very modest about his hymns. " Of 
either good poetry, or fine language therein, indeed there 
is none. A Child wrote them, who is but a young Stu- 
dent in CHRIST'S school! 3 But they were intended to 
be songs and not tracts in verse. Cennick was a great 
believer in " the ministry of song." 

It would not be possible to connect our present hymn, 
or any other of Cennick's hymns, with any particular 
outward event or special experience of his life. Never- 
theless we cannot catch the spiritual beauty of this 
hymn of courage and good cheer until we connect it with 
the life Cennick was leading. Truly these itinerant 
preachers of Wesley and Whitefield had a hard time of it 
in journeyings often, in weariness and painf ulness, in 
hunger and thirst, and, most of all, in perils from their 
own countrymen. Their own countrymen, even the best 
of them, thought them disturbers of the settled order, 
and the ruder, illiterate element of the people seems 
to have hated them and their gospel instinctively. 
Wherever these preachers went, they were met and sur- 
rounded by a rough and often brutal hostility, some- 
times egged on by the local authorities, including even 
the clergy. 

In June, 1741, Cennick went with some friends to 
preach at Swindon. But before he could begin, he 
writes, the mob "fired guns over our heads, holding 
the muzzles so near our faces, that Howell Harris and 


myself were both made as black as tinkers with the 
powder. We were not affrighted, but opened our 
breasts, telling them we were ready to lay down our 
lives for our doctrine. Then they got dust out of the 
highway, and covered us all over ; and then played an 
engine upon us, which they filled out of the stinking 
ditches. While they played upon brother Harris, I 
preached; and, when they turned the engine upon me, 
he preached. This continued till they spoiled the 
engine; and then they threw whole buckets of water 
and mud over us. Mr. Goddard, a leading gentleman 
of the town, lent the mob his guns, halberd, and engine, 
and bade them use us as badly as they could, only not 
to kill us; and he himself sat on horseback the whole 
time, laughing to see us thus treated." 

It is such experiences as these, of the very time when 
our hymn was written, that make its actual setting. 
And out of them it shines in all of its spiritual beauty 
the pluck of an unconquerable purpose, the serenity of 
an untroubled faith, the good cheer of an incorruptible 


i. The literary critics are not always very kind to 
our hymns. But we must not hit back and say that 
the critics themselves are not so spiritual-minded as 
they ought to be. Sometimes they may be right. As 
Mr. Toplady said, in the preface to his hymn book in 
1776: " God is the God of Truth, of Holiness, and of 
Elegance. Whoever, therefore, has the honor to com- 
pose, or to compile, anything that may constitute a part 
of His worship, should keep those three particulars, con- 
stantly, in view." It may be that some of our hymns 
are not worthy of the God of Elegance. 


It is, then, cotnforting to know that Mr. Palgrave, 
Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and editor of The Golden 
Treasury still generally regarded as the standard of 
our lyrical poetry did not hesitate to include these 
six verses of Cennick's in his later Treasury of Sacred 
Song. These six, it may be added, are only the half 
of the original hymn. But they are the better half. 

2. These studies are not intended to be "preachy." 
(The writer once read a sermon on this hymn preached 
by Canon Duncan at St. Stephen's, Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne; and he still likes the hymn.) But with his 
readers' consent he would venture to say that in his 
opinion the injunction in the second line of this hymn 
is as good advice as we are likely to get in this world. 
The road to heaven is not so hard for most of us as 
Cennick found it ; but it is never easy going. And he who 
can meet the hard places with a song is the best traveler. 

And that is the great argument in favor of committing 
hymns to memory. You cannot always carry The 
Hymnal in your grip " as ye journey." 

3. May not Cennick's hymn be ranged with Watts's 
" There is a land of pure delight," as one of the un- 
doubtedly wholesome hymns dealing with the hope of 
heaven? It is, at all events, one of the few hymns on 
that subject which young people generally have liked to 
sing. Of course the buoyant melody, arranged from a 
movement in an instrumental quartet by Ignaz Joseph 
Pleyel, helps to keep the hymn alive. Pleyel was an 
Austrian, and it is odd that the tune was for a century 
called "German Hymn " by most people. 

Cennick's hymn may also be compared with Williams' 
" Guide me, Thou Great Jehovah," as being a dif- 
ferent treatment of the journey of the Children of Israel 


to the promised country. Williams' hymn is a prayer 
for help from the dangers and difficulties of the road. 
Cennick pictures a sunny-hearted pilgrim, who thinks 
nothing of the perils of the road in view of the glory 
beyond that shines on them. But Watts, to get back to 
" There is a land of pure delight/' leaves the Children 
of Israel appraising the width of Jordan from its bank 
where they are gathered, while he climbs the hill with 
Moses to "view the landscape o'er." 




1 Christians, awake! salute the happy morn, 
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born; 
Rise to adore the mystery o love, 

Which hosts of angels chanted from above; 
With them the joyful tidings first begun 
Of God Incarnate and the Virgin's Son. 

2 Then to the watchful shepherds it was told, 
Who heard the angelic herald's voice: " Behold, 
I bring good tidings of a Saviour's birth 

To you and all the nations upon earth: 

This day hath God fulfilled His promised word; 

This day is born a Saviour, Christ the I/ord." 

3 He spake: and straightway the celestial choir 
In hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire; 
The praises of redeeming love they sang, 
And heaven's whole orb with alleluias rang: 
God's highest glory was their anthem still, 
Peace upon earth, and mutual good wilL 

4 O may we keep and ponder in our mind 
God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind; 
Trace we the Babe, who has retrieved our loss, 
From His poor manger to His bitter cross; 
Treading His steps, assisted by His grace, 
Till man's first heavenly state again takes place. 



5 Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among, 
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song; 
He that was born upon this joyful day 
Around us all His glory shall display; 
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing 
Eternal praise to heaven's Almighty King. 

Arranged from a Christinas poem of John Byrom, 1750: verse 4, 
line i; verse 5, line 6, altered 

Two of our familiar Christmas hymns are associated 
with the Methodist side of the eighteenth century re- 
vival and with the Wesleys themselves. One of the 
friends whose help they asked in preparing their first 
hymn book after they had returned from Georgia was 
Dr. John Byrom ; and he is the author of " Christians, 
awake ! " The other Christmas hymn, " Hark ! the herald 
angels sing," was printed by the Wesleys themselves, 
in 1739, in the earliest of the three collections they named 
Hymns and Sacred Poems. 


There is no need of a lingering look at Dr. Byrom's 
portrait to assure us that he was what is called a charac- 
ter. From under the low slouched hat with its rim pro- 
jecting like the prow of a racing, yacht, the bewigged 
head bends forward in an inquisitive intentness; and 
the face is as striking as the hat, with a ruminating 
look in the eye and a very whimsical but not unkindly 
mouth. One notes the crook-handled cane and wonders 
what the color of the long coat may have been. It 
must have been a very long coat, for Byrom was con- 
spicuously tall. He speaks in his diary of taking walks 
with John Wesley. Now Wesley was rather short and 


slight, dressed in conventional clerical clothes, and a 
model of neatness, so that the couple walking side by 
side must have presented something of a spectacle. 

Underneath these oddities Byrom was very much a 
gentleman and something of a scholar, a devoted hus- 
band and affectionate father, a loyal friend in fair 
weather and foul; and in spite of a gift of bubbling 
humor, he walked the earth in a sort of reverential 
awe that made life very sacred and God very near. 

He was the son of a linen merchant of Manchester, 
England, near which city he was born in February, 
1692 ; and was thus eighteen years younger than Isaac 
Watts and eleven years older than John Wesley. The 
biographical dictionaries sum him up as "poet and 
stenographer," and he was already both of these while 
still at college in Cambridge. While there he invented 
a new system of shorthand, and also printed in The 
Spectator for October 6, 1714, a playful pastoral poem 
called " Colin and Phoebe," which attracted more atten- 
tion and admiration than anything he wrote afterwards. 
When through college he went to the continent to study 
medicine, and though he never won Ms diploma he was 
called " Doctor " for the rest of his life. 

Byrom returned to England in 1718 and married a 
cousin. His elder brother had inherited the family 
property, and he started to earn a living by teaching 
his shorthand. His pupils paid him five guineas and 
swore an oath to keep the secret of his system. They 
liked him and no doubt had their fun out of him, calling 
Mm " the Grand Master " ; and among them were some 
very distinguished men. 

Between Byrom and the Wesleys were two bonds 
a common love of shorthand and of religion. Charles 



Wesley adopted Byrom's system at a very early date, 
and soon persuaded John to adopt it. Many of their 
hymns, the diary of Charles, and the vast and invaluable 
" Journal " of John Wesley, were all written in Byrom's 

There was not only a warm friendship between the 
men, but a religious sympathy deeper than the differ- 
ences of their temperaments and theological views. 
Byrom was known at Manchester as a High Churchman 
and a Jacobite an adherent of the Pretender as 
against the king. But he did not allow his church- 
manship to interfere with his wide religious sympathies. 
It is indeed probable that his deep spirituality alien- 
ated him from the average clergy of that day and pre- 
vented him from becoming a clergyman himself. He 
was at heart a mystic, caring more about real personal 
relations with God than about systems of theology or 
church organizations. He never became a Methodist, 
and probably never had the peculiar type of religious 
experience that the great revival produced. But he was 
sympathetic with the religious work of the Wesleys, at- 
tended their services frequently, and was their warm 
friend in days when so many despised and ridiculed 

The Wesleys consulted him about their first collection 
of hymns of 1738 and asked him to contribute some. 
He responded with excellent advice and with transla- 
tions of two French mystical hymns. One of these 
seems to have been the " Come, Saviour Jesus ! from 
above," that became a well-known Methodist hymn and 
is in use up to the present day. It may be that John 
Wesley's hand touched it up here and there, as was 
his way. It is not likely that Byrom helped the Wesleys 


in actual religious activities. Meditation and study and 
debate were more to his taste than activity. He liked 
to do his own thinking and to cultivate lettered ease; 
to let the world wag while he contemplated it with what 
he calls in one of his poems "calm content." 

In 1740 Byrom's brother died and he inherited the 
family property. Henceforward shorthand was rather 
a hobby than a means of livelihood, and he had all the 
more time for writing poetry. He had always had a 
gift for meter and for rhyming, and it got so that he 
seemed to think in verse, as Mr. Henley puts it. Every 
subject he wanted to argue about or poke fun at seemed 
to him a suitable subject for poetry. Descriptions, nar- 
ratives, criticisms, speeches, essays, theological dis- 
quisitions as well as hymns they were all in verse. 
It is fair, however, to remember that he wrote for the 
amusement of himself and friends and seldom printed 
his verses. They were not collected and published until 
after his death. His versifying, as he grew older, be- 
came more and more religious in its character, and it 
came to an end only with a long illness. He died on 
September 26, 1763, and his poems were published in 
two volumes at Manchester in 1773. 

On July 12 of that year John Wesley read them on a 
journey from Liverpool to Birmingham, and was de- 
lighted with them. He said they showed all the wit of 
Dean Swift, with more learning and piety, and expressed 
some of the finest sentiments that ever appeared in 
English arrayed in the strongest colors of poetry. The 
present writer owns a copy of the same edition of the 
poems that Mr. Wesley read, but has not found there all 
that he did. The wit and learning and piety are all 
there, and the charm of a quaint personality, but the 


" colors of poetry " have faded out somewhat. Byrom's 
verse will have few readers nowadays, but he will be 
remembered by one of the wittiest of epigrams : 

" God bless the King, I mean the Faith's Defender; 
God bless no Harm in blessing the Pretender; 
But who Pretender is, or who is King, 
God bless us all that's quite another Thing." 

He will be remembered also by this Christmas carol 
that may very likely be sung as long as the celebration 
of that day survives among English-speaking people. 


On the walls of the librarian's room of the Chetham 
Library at Manchester hangs the neatly framed original 
manuscript of Byrom's Christmas poem, on a very 
crowded sheet of note paper. It bears the title " Christ- 
mas Day for Dolly." And from this poem, by omitting 
some of the lines and arranging the remainder into 
verses which can be sung, our Christmas hymn, " Chris- 
tians, awake 1 " has been made. 

Francis Arthur Jones, in his Famous Hymns and 
their Authors, tells an attractive little story about the 
poem. " It was written in 1745, and the story of its 
composition is a pretty tale. John Byrom, the author, 
had several children, but, like many another father, 
he had his favorite. This child was a little girl named 
Dolly, who afterwards became Mrs. * Dorothy Byrom. 
A few days prior to Christmas, 1745, Mr. Byrom, after 
having had a romp with the favored Dolly, promised 
to write her something for Christmas Day. It was to 
* Used, at that period, as a courtesy title. 

M- A*Mt^&/W in lm<M/c> 1 

jtfyii r fturi & JvMu far 

fa$ %,/& c^MW^A 

V r .-? . / -. . ;<' v * y;y 

fytt ^Jri 'fycfy&[fM i f& H * 
-fff &/njtw tW >t^v, tyve/ii {affaca && 



be written specially for herself, and no one else. The 
child, highly honored and delighted, did not fail to re- 
mind her father of his promise each day as Christmas 
drew nearer. On the morning of the great day, when 
she ran down to breakfast, she found several presents 
waiting for her. Among these was an envelope addressed 
to her in her father's handwriting. It was the first thing 
she opened, and to her great delight, proved to be a 
Christmas carol addressed to her, and to her alone." 
Mr. Jones goes on to add that the present creased and 
crumpled state of the original manuscript comes " prob- 
ably from being carried about in Miss Dolly's pocket." 
It makes a pretty story and one would like to believe 
it. But how can we? The title of the manuscript does 
show that Byrom gave it to his daughter. But that 
he wrote it for her especially is less evident, because the 
words " for Dolly " are added in pencil, as though they 
were an afterthought. And there is no evidence what- 
ever that Byrom wrote the poem during Dolly's child- 
hood. She was born on April 26, 1730, and the earliest 
date we have for the hymn is Christmas, 1750, at which 
time Dolly was quite a grown-up young lady. In near- 
by Manchester there was a young man, John Wain- 
wright, who had some part in the music of the old 
Church of St. Mary the Virgin, now the Cathedral. He, 
too, had a copy of Byrom's poem and saw its possibilities 
as a Christmas carol. He divided it into verses and 
composed for it the delightful tune to which it is still 
sung. And on "Xmas, 1750, the singing men and boys, 
with Mr. Wainwright " (in other words, the choir of St. 
Mary's) paid Dr. Byrom or was it Dolly? the 
compliment of coming out to his home and singing 
" Christians, awake ! " beneath his windows. This in 


Its way is as pleasing an incident as Mr. Jones's little 
story, and it has the quite inestimable advantage of 
being true. 

The Wesleys did not put their friend's Christmas 
hymn into any of their hymn books, and it was probably 
unknown to Toplady and the others who soon began to 
make Church of England hymn books. But in those 
days of carol singing Wainwright's tune attracted atten- 
tion. " It is instinct with the healthy frost and good 
cheer of the old-fashioned English Christmas " ; and it 
was as a Christmas carol rather than a church hymn 
that the words and tune so happily mated began their 
career, and became popular in northern England. The 
Rev. Caleb Ashworth, a Lancashire man, heard and 
liked the tune, and put it into his tune book printed 
in 1760, but he divorced it from Byrom's words and 
made it a setting for Dr. Watts's version of the Fiftieth 

"The God of Glory sends his Summons forth, 
Calls the South Nations, and awakes the North. 3 ' 

Ashworth's book had only a local circulation. But in 
1784 the Rev. Ralph Harrison, another Lancashire man, 
included the tune in his tune book. His book became 
very popular and made the tune widely known. Har- 
rison's book found its way into this country, and in 
various American editions of " Watts's Psalms " in the 
first half of the nineteenth century the Fiftieth Psalm 
is marked to be sung to " Walworth " ; and on turning 
to the tune books we find that Walworth was simply 
Wainwright's tune under another name. It is unlikely 
that it was much sung. Congregations of the time were 
not musical and would shrink from six lines of ten 


syllables. Perhaps sometimes the choirs attempted to 
render it for them. 

Over in England Byrom's hymn had never been lost 
sight of. Every Christmas it was sung to Wainwright's 
tune, but as an out-of-doors carol rather than in church. 
It was the poet Montgomery who made a church hymn 
out of it. He arranged it for the hymn book he com- 
piled for his friend, the Rev. Thomas Cotterill, in 1819; 
and from that book it has passed into most of the im- 
portant church hymnals both in England and America. 
The Presbyterians in Scotland and the Methodists in 
America are exceptional, in that they have not yet 
learned the pleasure of saluting the happy morn with 
" Christians, awake I " 


1. What is the difference between a Christmas hymn 
and a Christmas carol? A hymnologist would say that 
"Hark! the herald angels sing" was a hymn, and 
that " Christians, awake! " and " O little town of Beth- 
lehem " were carols. Is it because a carol treats the sub- 
ject with a child's simplemindedness and from a child's 
point of view ? Or does the distinction refer only to the 
character of the music used? 

2. The reader has before him the full text of Byrom's 
poem as first written, except the last six lines, which he 
can supply from The Hymnal revised. He is in the 
same position as the editor of a hymn book who wants 
to use the poem, but is confronted with the problem 
of arranging it so that it can be sung. Probably no 
editor ever solved that problem to his complete satis- 
faction, and the reader can if he pleases apply his own 


wits to it and try for a better arrangement. The con- 
ditions are: 

(1) Some lines must be omitted. The poem is too 
long for a hymn. 

(2) There should be the fewest possible alterations. 

(3) The verses must be of six lines to fit Wain- 
wright's tune. Nobody wants to sing it to anything 

(4) Montgomery made six verses, which are too 
many. An arrangement in four that kept the train of 
thought unbroken would be ideal. 

3. There are two types of hymn tunes. There are 
choir tunes, of delicate beauty, that one likes to listen 
to rather than to sing. And there are people's tunes 
that make one feel like joining in to swell the volume 
of sound. " Stockport " is just such a tune. It repre- 
sents a period when people were getting tired of the old 
Psalm tunes sung in church, and church musicians 
were seeking a somewhat lighter and more cheerful 
type of tune. When one catches the spirit of its bluff 
heartiness and the swing of its melody it is still quite 
irresistible. If not sung in our churches as often as one 
might wish, that may be because it makes no special 
appeal to the choir, or because our congregations have 
not become familiar with it. 



. i Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah, 
Pilgrim through this barren land; 
I am weak, but Thou art mighty, 
Hold me with Thy powerful hand: 

Bread o heaven, 
Feed me till I want no more. 

2 Open now the crystal fountain, 

Whence the healing stream doth flow; 
Let the nre and cloudy pillar 

Lead me all my journey through: 

Strong Deliverer, 
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield. 

3 When I tread the verge of Jordan, 

Bid my anxious fears subside; 
Death of deaths and hell's Destruction, 
Land me safe on Canaan's side: 

Songs of praises 
I will ever give to Thee. 

Written in Welsh by the Rev. William Williams, 1745. 
In making an English version, about 1772, he used a 
translation of the first verse already (1771) made by the 
Rev. Peter Williams, and himself translated the second 
and third verses. 

NOTE: The text of the three verses as here given is that of the 
leaflet of 1772 prepared for Lady Huntingdon's College at Trevecca, 
without change except the capitalizing of "Destruction" in verse 
three. A fourth verse given there is omitted but is quoted in the 
course of this chapter. 



This hymn takes us back to the great revival in the 
old country and the stirring scenes of the seventeen- 
forties amid which it was written. But it carries us for 
the moment across the border into Wales ; for it was 
written originally in the Welsh and not the English 


In our study of " Children of the heavenly King " we 
left Cennick and Howell Harris at Swindon in 1741, 
preaching antiphonally. As the mob squirted mud on 
each in turn, the other preached. Harris was a young 
Welsh layman of the robust and hearty type; he had 
already lighted the flame of revival in Wales, while the 
Wesleys were still in Georgia. He began first to visit 
from house to house, and then to preach to the people 
who thronged to hear him. He made many converts 
and gathered them into cc societies "; and he drew to 
his side many preachers, some of them from the estab- 
lished Church itself. Among them, and the one who 
most interests us, was William Williams, author of 
" Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah." 

When John Wesley went on a preaching tour in Wales, 
he found this band of preachers already at work; and 
with a great advantage over himself, who could speak 
no Welsh. Howell Harris was a Calvinist, but he and 
Wesley loved each other instinctively, and each re- 
joiced in the other's success. But when the split in the 
revival forces came in 1741, the Welsh preachers took 
Whitefield's side. " The people are wounded by scores, 
and flock under the Word by thousands/ 3 Harris wrote 
him in 1742. And in the year following the Welsh 


Calvinistic Methodist Church was organized, with 
Whitefield in the moderator's chair. 

The revival preachers were much hindered by the 
lack of spiritual and warm-hearted hymns in Welsh to 
stir the people's hearts. In Wales, as in England, the 
parish churches were still singing metrical Psalm ver- 
sions, and spiritual songs were few. Soon after organiz- 
ing the Calvinistic Methodists, Harris summoned a 


group of preachers to a contest, of a sort not unfamiliar 
in fervid and musical Wales, at competitive hymn 
writing. The prize fell easily to William Williams, who 
had the poet's passion and a gift of verse-writing. 
Therefore it was not very long before he was recognized 
as poet laureate of the Welsh revival. 

His hymns, with their passion and sweetness, and an 
underlying tone of pathos, seemed at once to fly abroad 


as if the winds carried them. He began to gather and 
print them, under the title of Halleluiah in 1744; and 
in a second part published in 1745 appeared the Welsh 
original of "Guide me, Thou Great Jehovah." A 
new series entitled Hosannah, began to appear in 1751, 
and was complete in 1754. Other volumes followed at 
later dates. Williams also wrote and published Eng- 
lish hymns: fifty-one of them as Hosannah to the Son 
of David in 1759, and seventy-one more as Gloria m 
excelsis in 1772. 

" Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah " had been put 
into English by another Williams (the Rev. Peter) in 
1771- William Williams adopted his colleague's first 
verse, himself translated the second and third, added a 
fourth, and printed the whole English version in a leaflet, 
about 1772, with this heading: 


sung by 

Lady Huntingdon's Young Collegians. 

Printed by the desire of many Christian friends. 

Lord, give it Thy blessing! 

Lady Huntingdon, of whom we shall hear again, 
was a great lady, whose whole heart and soul were in 
Whitefield's work. She had founded a college at 
Trevecca in South Wales to educate young preachers, 
and it was in the college chapel that the " many Chris- 
tian friends " had heard the hymn. It plainly made a 
great impression. Lady Huntingdon put it into the books 
used in the chapels she had built. Whitefield added it 
in 1774 to his popular hymn book used in the London 
Tabernacle. Toplady put it into his collection of 1776, 


dedicated to the God of Elegance. From these books 
Its use spread far and wide. Few English hymns have 
started so auspiciously and held the pace so long. 


William Williams was born at Cefn-y-Coed in 1717, 
of parents who were active dissenters from the Church 
of England system, which was established by law in 
Wales also. His education was carried on with a view 
to making him a physician; but Providence had other 
uses for him. 

On a Sunday morning in 1738 he happened to attend 
a lifeless service in the parish church of the little 
village of Talgarth. On leaving the church the con- 
gregation, instead of scattering to their homes, gathered 
about the short, sturdy figure of a man who began to 
preach from one of the flat gravestones, exhorting the 
people to repent and escape the wrath to come. The 
preacher was Howell Harris, and his impassioned oratory 
could sway such a Welsh crowd as the wind sways the 
wheat. He reached the heart of young Williams, and 
changed his life. The young man left the churchyard 
with the purpose of devoting his life to the ministry. 

In 1740, Williams was ordained deacon in the Church 
of England, and was given a small curacy up in the 
mountains. But Howell Harris was his real bishop; 
his heart was with the revival movement and not with 
the Establishment. With several other clergy of the 
established Church, he gave up his curacy and joined 
the dissenting revivalists, though still " in deacon's 

He became an itinerant preacher, and never obtained 


fuller orders in the ministry of the Church of England. 
That his bishop refused them is often stated, but does 
not seem to be clearly proved. Whatever the bishop 
may have thought of his course, Williams made an 
extraordinary record as an itinerant evangelist. He 
took the whole of Wales for his parish. His travels for 
forty-three years are said to make an average of 2230 
miles a year, at a time when there were no railroads and 
few stage-coaches. In this way the greater part of 
Williams' life was spent, not in a preacher's study, but 
in the great world of out of doors. The breaking of 
dawn, the play of sunlight and shadow, the changing 
cloud effects, the gathering storm, the approach of twi- 
light, and the darkness of night these were the things 
he lived with. The wonderful scenery of his native land, 
with its visions of mountain and valley, brooks rushing 
down the hills and placid rivers among the fields, the 
seashore with its rocks and harbors all these he saw 
every day with a poet's eye. 

And just as the gospel story itself seems always to 
have the landscape of Palestine for a setting and so 
many of Christ's sayings reveal his observation of na- 
ture, so Williams' poetry is set in the landscape of 
Wales, and his hymns, the Welsh ones especially, are 
full of allusions to the scenery amid which he lived. 
The world of nature became to Mm a parable of the 
world of grace. Even the unattractive opening of his 
" O'er the gloomy hills of darkness " is said to reproduce 
an early morning vision of the Prescelly hills looming 
dark through the mist, while in the east the dawn was 
breaking up the gloom with the promise of a new day. 

It was a picturesque life, but it was not an easy one ; 
for nature is not always kind. It involved much ex- 


posure and constant fatigue. It incurred also that 
menace of the mob of which all these revival preachers 
were victims. There is still extant a letter of Howell 
Harris to Whitefield describing an attack of ruffians 
armed with guns and staves, made upon Williams while 
preaching in Cardiganshire, in which he was beaten with- 
out mercy. And Harris writes that the attack was in- 
stigated by " a gentleman of the neighborhood." Such 
self-sacrificing years of evangelism and those weary 
thousands of miles sum up the remainder of Williams' 
life: mot that many of the rich or great of the earth 
were concerned to compute the sum. But his verse 
must have made him a certain reputation outside of 
Wales, for the eminently genteel Gentleman's Magazine 
of 1791 gave him quite a nice obituary notice. 

"After languishing some time, he finished his course 
and life together, January nth, 1791, aged 74." That 
sounds as if the last long mile had been the hardest of 
all. He was buried in the churchyard of an obscure 
Welsh village, and, as the inscription upon his grave- 
stone reads, " He waits here the coming of the Morning 

Williams was evidently one of those sweet and wist- 
ful souls who cross this world as pilgrims and strangers, 
with their eyes fixed on a better one. He endured and 
magnified the rough lot of a revival preacher of those 
days, abounded in labors, and suffered perils for his 
Master's sake. His load was lightened a bit by a native 
sense of humor, but he needed for himself and he 
preached to others the consolations of the gospel. And 
it is altogether pleasant to remember him as we sing 
his pilgrim hymn. 

But we should be doing a great injustice to Williams' 


memory if we were to think of him simply as the author 
of one English hymn that perhaps we like to sing. His 
great work as a religious poet was done in his own 
Welsh tongue. We who, like John Wesley, cannot speak 
Welsh and who know much less of Wales than he did, 
can hardly understand how great a place the hymns of 
Williams hold in Welsh religious history and Welsh 
hearts. On this subject it is better to let one of his 
countrymen speak out of his personal knowledge. The 
Rev. H. Elvet Lewis, himself a poet, writes : " What Paul 
Gerhardt has been to Germany, what Watts has been to 
England, that and more has William Williams been to 
the little principality of Wales. His hymns have both 
stirred and soothed a whole nation for a hundred years ; 
they have helped to fashion a nation's character and to 
deepen a nation's piety." They have been sung, Mr. 
Lewis goes on to say, by the shepherd on moor and 
mountain, by the blacksmith at his anvil, by the miner 
underground, by the milkmaid of an early morning, by 
the mother beside the cradle, by the funeral procession 
accompanying the dead to the long home, by the young 
in their hour of temptation and the veteran in his failing 
strength, and by the family of the Lord Christ at the 
breaking of the bread in His house. " His hymns be- 
came the sacred ballads of the nation. As Luther sang 
Germany into Protestantism, so did Williams sing the 
Wales of the eighteenth century into piety." 


i. The writer of this study is quite out of sympathy 
with any movement to revive the name " Jehovah " in 
everyday use. And he hopes that the rendering "Je- 


hovah is my shepherd " (Ps. 23 : i) in what is called the 
" American Standard Bible " may never become the 
standard of our nurseries and schools. As a title of God, 
the Hebrew word rendered " Jehovah " seems to belong 
exclusively to His people of an older time. It is archaic 
and unfamiliar to our Christian habits of speech; and 
to introduce it into the Twenty-third Psalm seems to 
disconnect the Psalm from our present-day life. But 
in this particular hymn the case is quite different. The 
poet is trying to recreate the Old Testament atmosphere, 
and is employing the journey of the Children of Israel 
as a symbol of the Christian life. He almost makes us 
feel ourselves a part of the marching host, and the 
imagination without an effort thinks of God as Jehovah. 

To the writer the phrase " Great Jehovah " here used 
has also the surreptitious attraction of a patriotic sug- 
gestion ; for he finds himself unable to read or sing the 
first line without a momentary vision of Ethan Allen 
knocking at the door of Fort Ticonderoga and demand- 
ing its surrender " In the name of the Great Jehovah 
and the Continental Congress." 

2. Garrett Horder, the English hymnologist, twice 
says in his Hymn Lover that Newman's " Lead, kindly 
Light " has almost supplanted " Guide me, O Thou 
Great Jehovah." Does this remark tally with our own 
observation and experience? 

If so, we may remember that Cardinal Newman was 
well aware that Dykes's tune had carried his verses into 
popularity. And we may well ask if Williams' hymn is 
not in need of a deeply felt, elevated, and melodious 
tune that will fitly mate with the words. If the hymn 
is a little rough, it is not more so than a marching song 
ought to be. It is strong and full of feeling and dra- 


207 Srsist 

Caersalem. M. 8.7.4. 

Alaw Gymreig 






mf Guide me, Thou Great Jehovah, 
Pilgrim through this barren land; 
p I am weak (cm) but Thou art migbfcy. 

Hold me with Thy powerful hand: 
/ Bread of heaven, 

Feed me now and evermore. 


' Arghvydd, arwain trwy T r anialwch 

Fi, bercrin gwael ei wedd, 
N'ad oes ynof nerth na bywyd, 
Fel yh gorwedd yn y bedd: 


(Note that the fifth line is sung three times.) 


matic force. It wants a tune with a thrill in it. Of 
the tunes provided in The Hymnal revised, Lowell 
Mason's " Oliphant " begins impressively, but soon goes 
all to pieces; Viner's "Dismissal" is easy to sing, but 
does not appeal to the imagination and the feelings as 
the words do. It seems as if their true setting were yet 
to seek. But might not our search end happily with 
the tune " Caersalem," here printed ? It is the tune to 
which the original hymn is sung in Wales itself. The 
Welsh people have understood it better than we have. 
We have thought of it as timid and pathetic ; they have 
thought of it as resolute and confident. And in their 
tune we hear the trumpeters at the head of the march- 
ing host sounding forth the clear call of faith, and can 
catch the response from every quickened heart, 

"I am weak, but Thou are mighty, 
Hold me with Thy powerful hand." 

3. In translating his hymn for Lady Huntingdon's 
college, Williams added a fourth verse, which reads: 

"Musing on my habitation, 

Musing on my heav'nly home, 
Fills my soul with holy longings: 
Come, my Jesus, quickly come; 

Vanity is all I see; 
Lord, I long to be with Thee ! " 

That the addition spoils the hymn is perhaps hardly a 
topic for discussion. It is as if the new verse said, " I 
was not really marching in the open: only meditating 
here in my study." 

4. What is the meaning of " Death of deaths and hell's 
Destruction " ? And should " Destruction " be capital- 
ized? Was Mr. Horder, whom we have already referred 


to, justified in saying that the hymn is " disfigured by 
the unpoetic line, c Death of deaths and hell's destruc- 
tion ' " ? The phrase seems certainly to have worried 
a good many people who either did not understand it 
or else did not like it. The hymnal of the American 
Methodists has cut the line out and substituted " Bear 
me through the swelling current." 



1 Lord, I am Thine, entirely Thine, 
Purchased and saved by blood Divine; 
With full consent Thine I would be, 
And own Thy sovereign right in me. 

2 Grant one poor sinner more a place 
Among the children of Thy grace; 
A wretched sinner lost to God, 
But ransomed by Emmanuel's blood. 

3 Thine would I live, Thine would I die, 
Be Thine through all eternity: 

The vow is past beyond repeal; 
Now will I set the solemn seal. 

4 Here, at that cross where flows the blood 
That bought my guilty soul for God, 
Thee my new Master now I call, 

And consecrate to Thee my all. 

Rev. Samuel Davies. Published 1769 

NOTE: The hymn was written in Virginia before 1759, but first 
printed in Dr. Gibbons' London hymn book after Davies* death 
(1769). The four verses given above are taken from that book: 
three other verses there found are quoted under " Some Points for 




Whitefield, in his zeal to spread the great revival, 
made no more of the long voyage to the American 
colonies than of crossing the border into Wales. Seven 
times he came, and on his seventh missionary tour died 
of exhaustion in the home of the Presbyterian pastor 
at Newburyport, Massachusetts, and was buried be- 
neath the Presbyterian church there. An elaborate 
cenotaph stands foursquare beside the pulpit, and in the 
crypt beneath they still show you Whitefield's skull and 
bones within the glass lid of his coffin, shrined like " the 
relics " of a saint. 

Sitting in the church one Sunday of the summer of 
1922 the writer tried to picture those wonderful evan- 
gelistic tours of the great preacher: the posting from 
town to town without rest ; the stir of arrival with the 
eager greetings of his sympathizers pressing close, and 
from the background cold looks, even occasionally a 
stone; the quickly gathering throng so soon under the 
spell of his oratory, sometimes so wrought upon that 
their cries of distress almost drowned that marvelous 
voice; the flames of religious excitement rising higher 
and spreading from place to place into a conflagration 
that seemed to cover the land. For his heart-searching 
gospel was a sword rather than a message of peace. It 
"set a man at variance against his father, and the 
daughter against her mother " and disrupted the house- 
holds of faith. Most of the edifices of his own Church 
of England and many of other denominations shut their 
doors against him; and the Presbyterian Church was 
rent into two rival and contentious synods, the one of 


his supporters, the other of his opponents. It mattered 
little about the closing of the churches, for no building 
could hold the throngs, no opposition could quench the 
flames of the revival that spread into a " Great Awak- 
ening " which changed the face of American religion ; 
most of all, perhaps, the face of American Presbyterian- 
ism. Presbyterians of our time seem hardly aware of 
the influence of Whitefield in unmaking and remaking 
their Church. 

Sitting that day in the Newburyport church the writer 
looked at Whitefield's monument, but it seemed to him 
that the hymn books in every pew were an even greater 
monument. For it was that " Great Awakening " which 
turned the Presbyterian Church in America from a 
Psalm singing into a hymn singing Church. They were 
still conscientiously singing the old metrical Psalms 
(" Rous's Version " mostly) when Whitefield came and 
stirred men's hearts to the depths with his impassioned 
gospel. To such overcharged feelings singing affords a 
natural relief. But both preacher and hearers felt that 
this new preaching and the old metrical Psalmody did 
not fit. As Whitefield and his helpers made the cross to 
shine before men's eyes, their hearts demanded songs 
that caught and reflected the glory of that cross. Wher- 
ever the revival spread, a spontaneous movement began 
to substitute the evangelical Psalms and hymns of Dr. 
Watts for the familiar Psalm versions. In the Presby- 
terian churches that movement began early. It met vio- 
lent opposition and roused that bitter " Psalmody Con- 
troversy " which makes one of the epochs of that 
Church's history. But it never halted until, after years 
of strife and even disruption, it had borne down the 
opposition of " the Psalm singers " and made that 


Church the hymn singing body it is to-day. We who 
love hymns as one of God's best gifts might well pause 
to remember how hardly our fathers won for us the 
right to sing them. For that is true of all denominations 
that bear the impress of Calvin's hand. 


The hymn we are studying is one of the landmarks of 
the movement just described. It was written by Samuel 
Davies, the most brilliant of Presbyterian clergymen In 
the colonies. He was among the first to chafe under 
the yoke of the old Psalmody and on his own responsi- 
bility to introduce human hymns into his services. He 
was the earliest Presbyterian hymn writer in the col- 
onies. More than that, he was the earliest American 
hymn writer of any denomination who wrote hymns 
still kept in our hymn books and sung by our congre- 

The story of the hymn takes us into Virginia. And 
we may think of Virginia as the colony most nearly a 
reproduction of eighteenth century England in its 
laws and institutions, its moral conditions and social 
prejudices. Among other things the English Church 
was Established and rigorously upheld both by law and 
custom. It was bad form socially to be a dissenter, and 
unlawful for dissenters to meet for worship. When 
Whitefield came he was received as a minister of the 
Church of England, but (perhaps for that reason) Ms 
work there was less effective than elsewhere. 

It seems to have been a "one-eyed Robinson" who 
kindled the spark of revival. And a few of " the awak- 
ened," who found no help in religion as established, be- 


gan about 1743 to meet in the home of Samuel Morris 
to listen to his reading of Whitefield's printed sermons. 
Similar gatherings began in other houses, and it was 
eventually determined to build meeting-houses in which 
the gospel might be freely preached. 

The " Newly awakened in Hanover County " put 
themselves under the care of the " Newside Presby- 
terians/' as Whitefield's supporters were called. But 
Church and State took alarm. The court demanded the 
reasons for absence from the church services, and the 
Governor issued an order against the meetings of the 
" New Lights." While their trials were still pending the 
Presbytery of Newcastle, Delaware, ordained young 
Samuel Davies with a view to shepherding these new 
congregations. He succeeded in getting from the Gen- 
eral Court of Virginia a special license to preach to 
them, and was wonderfully successful with two extreme 
classes, the gentlemen and the black slaves. He was so 
touched by the singing of the latter that he sent to 
England for supplies of Watts's " Psalms and Hymns," 
as he felt those warmer evangelical strains made more 
appeal to the emotional blacks than the old metrical 
Psalm versions. To Davies, as to most of the preachers 
who favored " human hymns," the great office of the 
hymn was to enforce the appeal of the sermon. When 
he could not find a hymn in Watts suitable to the ser- 
mon in hand, he wrote one of his own in Watts's style 
and manner. His hymns were composed in the glow 
of sermon-writing, and put into verse the points he most 
wished to impress upon the heart and conscience. He 
gave them out line by line to be sung after the sermon, 
and sometimes when requested to print a particular 
sermon, he printed the appropriate hymn also at the end. 



Most of his hymns, and of course most of his sermons 
also, remained imprinted during his life. But Davies, 
while in England on a mission to raise money for 
Princeton College, had formed a warm friendship with 
Dr. Thomas Gibbons, an influential pastor in London, 
and a friend by the way both of Dr. Watts and Lady 
Huntingdon. In 1757, Davies, getting up from a dan- 
gerous illness, wrote Dr. Gibbons that he wanted to be 
useful after he was dead, and had put in his will an 
order to transmit all his sermon manuscripts to Dr. 
Gibbons, to publish such as might promise to do good. 
And so, after Davies' death in 1761, his manuscript ser- 
mons (with the appended hymns) were boxed up in 
Princeton and made the long voyage to England in 

Dr. Gibbons got ready enough sermons to fill three 
volumes, and printed them in 1765. They were so success- 
ful that he published other volumes later, and all have 
often been reprinted since. In his preface he spoke of 
the hymns and expressed a purpose of printing them also 
in the future. This he did in a hymn book of his own, 
Hymns adapted to Divine Worship, published in 1769: 
sixteen of them in all with this note, " The Pieces in the 
following Miscellany ascribed to the Rev. Mr. DAVIES, 
were found in his Manuscripts intrusted with the Editor." 
So it was that eight years after Davies had been laid to 
rest at Princeton his hymns were given to the world in 
far-off London, as the last kindly office of the hand of 

Dr. Gibbons' hymn book reached a small circle, but 
Dr. John Rippon gave a wider circulation to seven of 
Davies' hymns he took from it into his popular Baptist 
Selection of 1787. The particular hymn we are now 


studying he spoiled by cutting it down to two verses and 
changing the first line to a question, " Lord, am I Thine, 
entirely Thine ? " Perhaps that is why it is so little 
used in England. The one best known there is " Great 
God of wonders ! all Thy ways," which has been found 
in over a hundred English hymn books. Rippon's muti- 
lated text of the present hymn was copied into several 
early books in this country. But when the Presbyterian 
Church in the U.S.A. ventured to make its own Psalms 
and Hymns in 1830, " Lord, I am Thine " was included 
as Dr. Gibbons had printed it. It has been a standard 
hymn ever since and is familiarly used also by the Re- 
formed, Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist, and Luth- 
eran Churches. In how many hearts is it tenderly as- 
sociated with the hour of self-surrender and the scene 
of the first Communion ! 


Some twenty-three miles below Wilmington, in New- 
castle County, Delaware, stands a colonial Presbyterian 
church known as " Old Drawyer's," which is still the 
shrine of a yearly pious pilgrimage. On a farm not more 
than twelve miles away Samuel Davies was born, 
November 3, 1723, of plain Welsh parents. He was 
educated at the academy of Samuel Blair at Fagg's 
Manor, who also prepared him for his ordination by the 
Presbytery of Newcastle in February, 1747. 

Davies' work in Virginia was made difficult at first 
by a physical breakdown supposed to indicate a hopeless 
stage of consumption, and to this was added the sorrow 
of a young wife's death. But he went bravely on, often 
preaching by day when so ill that attendants had to sit 


up with him by night. He recovered his health, and it 
was probably on account of his persuasive eloquence 
that he was chosen to go abroad with Gilbert Tennent 
on behalf of Princeton College. 

Coming back in February, 1755, he found the Virginia 
settlements greatly agitated at the aggressions of the 
French and Indian alliance. The alarm spread when, 
in July, the little army of General Braddock sent out to 
capture Fort Duquesne was defeated, with only a rem- 
nant saved by the courage of George Washington, then 
a youth of twenty-three. The always fervid preacher 
now became a passionate patriot, arousing Virginia by 
his call to arms, 

It was in printing a sermon preached to Captain Over- 
ton's Company of Independent Volunteers in August of 
the same year that Davies added the prophetic footnote 
so often quoted, " I may point out to the public that 
heroic youth, Col. Washington, whom I cannot but hope 
Providence has hitherto preserved, in so signal a manner, 
for some important service to his country." 

Three years later Davies was called to succeed the 
famous Jonathan Edwards as president of Princeton 
College. He declined and only under the pressure of a re- 
election consented to leave his beloved Virginia. He 
took to Princeton great gifts and a great reputation, but 
had filled the office hardly more than eighteen months 
when he caught a cold to which he succumbed, dying on 
February 4, 1761, at the age of thirty-six. His grave 
now makes one of the famous Presidents' Row at Prince- 
ton, where he lies next to Jonathan Edwards. 

Davies was not only the most brilliant but quite the 
most engaging figure of colonial Presbyterianism. Ma- 
kemie may have been a greater administrator, but one 

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imagines him a little rough. Gilbert Tennent in early 
life was possibly an equally effective preacher, but he 
had a vein of hardness and censoriousness. His later 
preaching did not sustain his reputation, while even now 
when we read Davies' printed sermons we catch the light 
and feel the glow. They far surpass the printed sermons 
of Whitefield himself, which indeed make poor reading. 
Makemie, Tennent, Davies all three were God's am- 
bassadors, but Davies had the gracious manners and 
social accomplishments of the trained diplomat. He had 
the inscrutable quality we call " charm," that wins the 
admiration of strangers, and the deeper qualities of 
mind and heart that won from his friends the fullness of 
affection so frankly written in all their reminiscences 
of him. 


i. Dr. Gibbons did not tell us to which of the manu- 
script sermons that came into his hands this hymn was 
appended. It seems to fit the one he printed as " XXXI, 
Dedication to God argued from Redeeming Mercy," from 
I Cor. 6:19, 20. The preacher enters God's claim to 
all his hearers have and are; their solemn business 
at the Lord's Table is " to yield themselves to God, and 
seal their indenture to be His." He asks them to follow 
while he proposes the terms of the transaction, and, if 
they consent, to " rise and crowd round the table of their 
Lord, and there annex their solemn seals and acknowl- 
edge it to be their act and deed." And this is the " con- 
tract": "Lord, here is a poor sinner, thy creature re- 
deemed by the blood of thy Son, that has long been a 
slave to other masters, and withheld from thee thy just 


and dear-bought property; here, Lord, I would now, 
freely and without reserve, devote and surrender myself, 
my soul and body, and my all to thee, to be universally 
and for ever thine. And let the omnipotent God, let 
angels and men, be witness to the engagement." 

Does there seem much room to doubt that the hymn 
was written to be used at the Communion service that 
was to follow this particular sermon ? 

2. But at what date? In The Hymnal revised the 
footnote gives it as " published in 1769 "; and that is the 
only date we have. The sermon was preached in Virginia 
(before July, 1759, that is to say), is addressed to black 
and white, freeman and slave, and refers to a possible 
persecution even unto death. May not that suggest as 
a date the time of the French and Indian aggressions and 
the dread that the conquering French might establish the 
Roman Catholic discipline in the colony ? 

3. Dr. Gibbons printed this hymn in seven verses. The 
familiar abridgment into four verses may perhaps be 
of some practical advantage. But the whole hymn is 
needed to show its full relation to Sermon XXXI. To 
obtain this, insert after the first verse in The Hymnal 

II Here, Lord, my Flesh, my Soul, my All 
I yield to Thee beyond Recall; 
Accept thine own so long withheld, 
Accept what I so freely yield! 

after the third verse, 

V. Be thou the Witness of my Vow, 
Angels and Men attest it too, 
That to thy Board I now repair, 
And seal the sacred Contract there. 


and after the fourth verse, 

VII. Do Thou assist a feeble Worm 
The great Engagement to perform: 
Thy Grace can full Assistance lend, 
And on that Grace I dare depend. 

4. Just what is the effect upon this hymn of the alter- 
ation made by Dr. Rippon by which the affirmation of 
its first line becomes the question, " Lord, am I Thine, 
entirely Thine? "' 




1 Sweet the moments, rich in blessing, 

Which before the cross I spend; 

Life and health and peace possessing 

From the sinner's dying Friend. 

2 Here I'll sit, for ever viewing 

Mercy's streams in streams of blood; 
Precious drops, my soul bedewing, 
Plead and claim my peace with God. 

3 Truly blessed is this station, 

Low before His cross to lie, 
"While I see Divine compassion 
Pleading in His languid eye. 

4 Love and grief my heart dividing, 

With my tears His feet I'll bathe; 
Constant still in faith abiding, 
Life deriving from His death, 

5 For Thy sorrows we adore Thee, 

For the griefs that wrought our peace; 
Gracious Saviour, we implore Thee, 
In our hearts Thy love increase. 

The Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley, 1770: based upon 
an earlier (1757) hymn by the Rev. James Allen. 



NOTE: The first four verses as here given are taken from Shirley's 
hymn book of 1770; with such changes as will appear by com- 
parison with his text hereafter quoted in full. The fifth verse was 
added to the hymn in the Rev. Messrs. Cooke and Denton's Church 
Hymnal of 1853, 

In our study of " Guide me, Thou Great Jehovah," 
we met, somewhat casually, the Lady Selina Shirley, by 
marriage Countess of Huntingdon. And she, beyond a 
doubt, is the proper person to introduce her first cousin, 
the Honorable and Reverend Walter Shirley, whose skill- 
ful hand gave to our present hymn its familiar shape. 
Especially so, as it was written to be sung in her own 


After a dangerous illness and a deep experience Lady 
Huntingdon " turned Methodist," as the phrase was, to 
the dismay of her friends. " I thank your Ladyship," 
wrote the Duchess of Buckingham, " for the information 
concerning the Methodist preachers; their doctrines are 
most repulsive, and strongly tinctured with impertinence 
and disrespect towards their superiors, in perpetually 
endeavoring to level all ranks, and do away with all dis- 
tinctions. It is monstrous to be told, that you have a 
heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on 
the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting ; and I 
cannot but wonder that your Ladyship should relish any 
sentiments so much at variance with high rank and good 
breeding." Her Ladyship, on the other hand, persuaded 
many of her friends, even the Duchess sometimes, to go 
with her to the Methodist meetings, and gathered more 
of them to hear Methodist preachers in her own London 



drawing-room. With her zeal and influence she gave a 
new turn to the great revival. She introduced it into 
aristocratic circles. " Methodism," the cynical Horace 
Walpole used to complain, " is becoming quite fash- 

When the split came in 1741, Lady Huntingdon ad- 
hered to Whitefield. Beginning as his commissary, she 
soon took the field in person as commander in chief of 
his forces. Whitefield needed such a patron. John Wes- 
ley was a master hand at organizing; and a world-wide 
Methodist Church is his monument. Whitefield was a 
great preacher, and just that. He could make converts, 
but for organizing and molding these same converts into 
a permanent body of Christian workers he had no gifts. 

Just here Lady Huntingdon took hold. By birth and 
marriage she was a great lady ; with full sense of her high 
social position. She was also a great woman, of the 
" modern " type : a born executive, indifferent to conven- 
tionalities, bent on getting results, deeply religious, with 
an autocratic will. After her husband's death she had 
houses and an ample income at her command, and was 
generous to the point of stripping herself of all but bare 
necessities. She paid for her first chapel by selling her 

She built many other chapels in different parts of 
England, and joined them as a " connexion " of which 
she was the head. She sought out Calvinistic clergymen 
to preach from their pulpits the gospel as she believed it, 
and when the supply failed, founded that theological 
school at Trevecca whose " young collegians " we heard 
singing " Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah." She re- 
tained the Prayer Book services in her chapels, but the 
bright and hearty hymn singing she set up in place of 


the droning of metrical Psalms in parish churches, proved 
a great attraction. She had learned from the Wesleys 
and Whitefield what evangelical songs had done for the 
revival. She loved them and sang them and became one 
of the influences that were gradually spreading the singing 
of " hymns of human composure." In the end her 
chapels got her into trouble with the Church* authorities, 
who liked neither her independence nor her gospel, and 
in her old age she had to organize her forces as a dissent- 
ing body outside the Church of England " Lady Hunt- 
ingdon's Connexion." 


The story circles about Lady Huntingdon, and involves 
a number of people. There was first the Rev. Benjamin 
Ingham, one of the original Methodists, who went to 
Georgia with the Wesleys, and is said to have been too 
handsome for a man. On his return he became a suc- 
cessful evangelist, and formed many " societies " of his 
converts in his native Yorkshire and thereabouts. In 
1741 he married Lady Huntingdon's sister-in-law. " The 
news I hear from London," wrote Lady Mary Wortley 
Montague from Rome, " is that Lady Margaret Hastings 
has disposed of herself to a poor, wandering Methodist 
preacher." In the year following he deserted the Metho- 
dists and joined the Moravian Brethren. After some 
years he changed his views again, and left the Moravians. 
But instead of joining Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, he 
formed some thousands of his followers into a brand-new 
denomination, the Inghamite Connexion. 

Now it would never do for Inghamites to go on singing 
Moravian hymns, or to fall back on those of the Meth- 


odists. And so some of Ingham's helpers tried their 
hand at hymn writing. The chief of these was one James 
Allen, a young Yorkshireman who had been intended for 
the ministry of the established Church, but who was con- 
verted under Ingham's preaching, and broke off a college 
course at the University of Cambridge to become one of 
his preachers. Allen wrote more than sixty hymns, and 
these, with others by his colleagues, he printed in 1757 
for the Inghamite Connexion. He called his book A 
Collection of Hymns for the use of those that seek, and 
those that have Redemption in the Blood of Christ; but 
it is more generally referred to as " The Kendal Hymn 
Book." Naturally enough, these new hymns retained a 
good many of the Moravian peculiarities. Some that 
dealt with the person of our Lord had the same un- 
pleasant sensuous flavor that John Wesley protested 

The Inghamite collection is not attractive. If there 
were no better "hymns of human composure" than 
these, most people would gladly go back to metrical ver- 
sions of the Psalms. But for a while they appealed to 
the ecstatic feelings of the Inghamites. And only for a 
while could Ingham hold his followers together. He 
could not even hold James Allen. That good man at last 
" saw the light " and became a " Glassite." " My eyes," 
he said, " were never fully opened till the latter end of 
October, 1762. How am I now ashamed of my preaching, 
and the hymn book I was concerned in printing ! Almost 
every page puts me to the blush." In the end this honest 
but erratic seeker for truth found such measure of 
church unity as he was capable of by building a private 
chapel on his Yorkshire estate, and ministering there un- 
disturbed until his death in 1804. 

"ITT HFLE my Juki I'm potliilim;, 
> "A vy c;. t :t'* theKippuwts I know; 

Sw twiir o 
Hjppy I'tw in his tr.ibi.uci, -itt Hs, kuM;sf\vect; 
Slft^iO 1 ', ncK.r<c;ji.'.T| pr-ifc;, 

5. Oh! hsw Jwrrv itc the moments, 

Here 111 >" lr v viavilu; 

How she HooJ J!o'.i$ horn s3i vein;, 
Ev'ry {Saatn, my fou! fefjn.iijg, 

Moit;ta i!'.c cam?l rfaue. 
|. Res!!? bklfol is riu 1 fiirtlon 

Di-fco'4 rot by luvYajn gmcc; 

In *cSavinw 'Vbnilftd'Le - 
Tta my fivsi wlylutlrin. 

Jefc ChrJil my Lord to love, 
'At Jus ft to Jtis i> jtapon, 

Koc from. tbUv r*. fair's breadth mo?e, 
4. Hire h fe i find my feww, 

Whilt: apoa my JLatrfc t gJW; 
5x>vf I much, Fve jnore tqrgjvrn I 

1 6I } 

Fiil'd with Cmur-llke cootrWort, 

With wy tctts hh feet I'll bah* ; 

Happy in the fwut fruition 

Oi'my Siviaur's paisful &b. 

j. From his picrc'd and wouniJeJ body 

From his hands and fart fa bloody 
Fiow'J a med'Uae tW tach fore s 

TMs to ate is raoft delicious, 

dating ail within to ^Jow 
<i. May I ftill enjoy ebb ftclUijj, 

IR ail n4 to |ef us <& ; 
Prove \&i wounds act^ day niorc tiealinr, 

Anii from hncc fsjvation draw t 
May I have the fpirk'6 vrnftiaa 

Sdt retain a cloieBeiiV>R 

"With &c perfbix of tlie Lamb. 

' 1 ESUS, bowgJwioaf was the Jiy, 
J Wliitu Thou didft my rckall- praeliSp 1 
SweeeJy I fuag tbe hours may -, 
I Jung fiJvatbn hro* thy name. 
s. I woadtrM ho\v tit? careld$ crowd 
Sfenfrfek could tlrep away thtir diy > 
So flrong ihy love in ray heart flow'JL 
Such foJid peace it did convey , 
3, Clofe with thy Sock I ws combia'J, 
Nought could my heart from their 1 * divide ; 
gy Hood 1 , cftwntj,,., power join'd, 
Wlm uifitn I could liavc I)>y *:. 1 tiy'd, 
4 Benath shy worJ rctVeih'i! 1 ihod; 
'ITijf word w we w'stii pow cuatf ; 



Among Allen's contributions to the hymn book of 1757 
was one of six double verses, beginning 

"While my Jesus I'm possessing." 

We know it is his because he marked it with his initials 
in his own copy of the book. It was far from being 
good ; and when the Inghamites were dispersed, and the 
little book was disowned by its editor, that hymn would 
seem to have been finally buried out of sight. 

But now the Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley comes on 
to play his part. He was born in 1725 of noble blood: 
a younger brother of the notorious Earl Ferrers, who 
threatened his wife, murdered his steward, and was 
hanged after a trial by the House of Lords. Shirley was 
drawn into the revival movement through his connection 
with Lady Huntingdon. He became one of her preachers, 
although he remained in the Church of England all his 
life, with a parish in Ireland. But his evangelical the- 
ology and his revival preaching kept him in bad odor with 
his bishop and fellow clergymen. 

Lady Huntingdon trusted him, and seems to have 
given him charge of the hymnological department of her 
Connexion ; but it w^as under her own eye. She attached 
great importance to the character of the hymns. If 
she did not write any (this is uncertain), she saw to it 
that none was sung in her chapels of which she did 
not approve. For the editing of her special collections 
she depended upon Mr. Shirley. It was in the 1770 
edition of The Collection of Hymns sung in the Countess 
of Huntingdon's Chapel [at Bath] that Shirley printed 
the hyrnn we know so well as cc Sw^eet the moments, rich 
in blessing." Like a careful editor he had gone over 
other books to find available material, even the Inghamite 


book. By comparing Shirley's verses with the facsimile 
of Allen's original as here given, we can see for our- 
selves how he found the hymn embedded in Allen's mate- 
rial, just as a sculptor sees a symmetrical figure embedded 
in the rough and shapeless mass of marble. He had a 
keen eye and a cunning hand, certainly. He made what 
for all practical purposes is a new hymn. 

As we have before us the full text as Allen wrote it, 
it may be interesting to have also the full text as Shirley 
rewrote it : 

Sweet the Moments rich in Blessing 

Which before the Cross I spend; 
Life and Health, and Peace possessing, 

From the Sinner's dying Friend. 
Here I'll sit for ever viewing 

Mercy's Streams in Streams of Blood; 
Precious Drops my soul bedewing 

Plead and claim my Peace with GOD. 

Truly blessed is this Station 

Low before his Cross to lye; 
While I see divine Compassion 

Floating in his languid Eye. 
Here it is I find my Heaven, 

While upon the Lamb I gaze; 
Love I much, I've much forgiven, 

I'm a Miracle of Grace. 

Love and Grief my Heart dividing, 

With my Tears his Feet I'll bathe; 
Constant still in Faith abiding, 

Life deriving from his Death. 
May I still enjoy this Feeling, 

In all Need to Jesus go; 
Prove his Wounds each Day more healing, 

And himself more deeply know. 


Comparison shows the weak parts of Shirley's compila- 
tion to be just those that adhered most closely to Allen's 
original: the second quatrain of verse two, culminating 
in that smug line, " I'm a Miracle of Grace," and the last 
four lines of all, which fail to reach a climax. It was 
easy for later editors to drop these lines, but to arrange 
a fitting climax for the whole hymn was another matter. 
That indeed was wanting until two English clergymen, 
Messrs. Cooke and Denton, in their Church Hymnal of 
1853, added the fine lines : 

For Thy Sorrows we adore Thee 
For the Griefs that wrought our peace 

Gracious Saviour! we implore Thee, 
In our hearts Thy love increase. 


i. This is called by hymnologists a Good Friday hymn. 
Until recent years no notice was taken of that day in 
Presbyterian and some other churches. The observance 
of Good Friday came about as a consequence of the ob- 
servance of Easter Day. The writer can remember when 
Easter itself was ignored in Presbyterian churches. But 
when the celebration of Easter became firmly established, 
the question began to be asked : Is it not a strange thing 
for an evangelical Church, that puts the emphasis upon 
the cross, to celebrate the anniversary of the resurrection 
and ignore the anniversary of the crucifixion? It was an 
awkward question. And when once asked, there could 
be only one logical answer. The recognition of Good 
Friday has been to some extent forced upon the churches 
in those states which had made it a legal holiday. It is 
better certainly to keep the anniversary as a holy day, 


with religious services, than as a Roman holiday given 
over to public amusements. It is, however, likely that 
the propriety of recognizing the day in Presbyterian 
churches may be a topic for discussion for years to come. 
It is also a subject for discussion, whether the present 
hymn might not well be reserved for use on some such 
special occasion, when our feelings are moved by the 
pathos of the cross. Is it not perhaps too tender in 
feeling to justify the familiar use it has had in everyday 
social services? 

2. In the text, as printed in The Hymnal revised, there 
is a striking change when we pass from the " I " of the 
four Shirley verses to the " we " of the Cooke and Den- 
ton verse. Much has been written as to whether our 
congregational songs should have the " I " and " my " of 
an individual singer or the "we" and "our" of the 
congregation as a common body. And this hymn suggests 
an answer. It is as if each singer came alone to the cross, 
and there laid low his heart, all alone with Christ. And 
as if all the singers then arose and stood together at the 
cross in one common outburst of praise and adoration. 

3. There are few meaner things in this world than 
plagiarism. Plagiarism is the stealing of the products of 
another's brain, and giving them forth as our own. It 
is good, therefore, in tracing these verses to the little 
known original of the obscure James Allen, to remember 
that Shirley was quite innocent of plagiarism. He 
neither signed them nor claimed them as his own. His 
only ambition was to furnish his cousin's chapels with 
good hymns. It is not even possible to say how many of 
these were written by himself. 



1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee; 
Let the water and the blood, 
From Thy riven side which flowed, 
Be of sin the double cure, 

Cleanse me from its guilt and power. 

2 Not the labors of my hands 
Can fulfil Thy law's demands; 
Could my zeal no respite know, 
Could my tears for ever flow, 
All for sin could not atone; 
Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

3 Nothing in my hand I bring, 
Simply to Thy cross I cling; 
Naked, come to Thee for dress, 
Helpless, look to Thee for grace; 
Foul, I to the fountain fly; 
Wash me, Saviour, or I die. 

4 While I draw this fleeting breath, 
When my eyelids close in death, 
When I soar to worlds unknown, 
See Thee on Thy judgment throne, 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee. 

Rev. Augustus M. Toplady, in The Gospel Magazine for March, 1776 

NOTE: The text is that of Toplady 's own Psalms and Hymns of 
1776, except in the second line of the last verse, whose alteration 
is explained under " Some Points for Discussion." 


ROCK Of AU^O, u^jQrT FO^ ME I0 e 

" Rock of Ages " was written by Augustus Montague 
Toplady, one of the converts of the same Methodist re- 
vival that produced " Jesus, Lover of my soul." But 
he had lost his sympathy with Wesley's doctrinal views, 
turned his back on Methodism, and become a Church of 
England clergyman. Two things, however, he had kept 
in his heart the fervor of the Methodists and their 
love for songs that had the glow of the gospel in them. 
He not only wrote hymns of his own but he joined a 
little group of men who were doing their best to win a 
place for hymn singing in the Church of England itself. 


In our third study we saw how young Isaac Watts chal- 
lenged the old custom of singing metrical Psalms, and 
won the hearts of the Independent congregations with 
his own very human hymns. In our fourth study we saw 
how the Wesley brothers followed in the next generation 
with their gospel songs, and made these a great power in 
the Methodist Revival. 

With the Independents singing Watts's hymns and the 
Methodists singing the Wesleys', it might seem that the 
" hymn of human composure " had come to its own in 
England. But not yet. The great established Church 
clung to the old Psalms. Most of its bishops and clergy 
cared little for the Independents and despised the Meth- 
odists as fanatics. The thing they most dreaded in re- 
ligion was " enthusiasm," which they regarded as bad 
form. As the Methodist singing became clamorous, they 
felt the greater dislike for hymns as the particular 
vehicle of this vulgar " enthusiasm." The good and 


great Dr. Johnson, a churchman of the better sort, notes 
in Ms diary that on Easter Day, 1764, he gave a crown 
to a poor girl he met in church, although he saw a hymn 
book in her hand. He was pluming himself on a char- 
itable impulse that could even surmount the prejudice 
against hymn singers. 

But enthusiasm is a contagious thing, and even the 
lethargic Church of England could not escape it alto- 
gether. We have already seen how Lady Huntingdon 
succumbed, and how, when the doctrinal split came in 
1741, she took charge of Whitefield's forces, and began 
to stir up a revival in the Church itself. The little group 
of clergy who shared Whitefield's Calvinistic views and 
sympathized with his revival measures, were content for 
a wMIe to preach and work under the great lady's aus- 
pices. But when she became a dissenter, most of them 
kept their places in the established Church and gradu- 
ally formed an Evangelical or Low Church Party to carry 
on the revival within the bounds of the Church. They 
protested against being called Methodists, but for a 
good while they protested in vain. What seemed to 
outsiders to give them away was their revival 
preaching, and especially their addiction to the new and 
strange practice of singing human hymns in place of the 
long established Psalm singing. For with one exception, 
these leaders were all agreed that evangelical religion has 
the right to express itself in evangelical songs. In 1753, 
Whitefield had made his own hymn book for use in the 
revival services of his London Tabernacle. Seven years 
later the Rev. Martin Madan followed with another for 
use in his chapel at the Lock Hospital. It was a private 
chapel and not a parish church, or else Mr. Madan would 
have got into trouble, just as Mr. Wesley did at Savannah, 






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for introducing unauthorized hymns into the Church 


To this Evangelical Party in the Church of England 
Mr. Toplady attached himself as one of its younger 
members. And in 1776 he, too, printed a collection of 
Psalms and Hymns for his Orange Street Chapel in Lon- 
don. It was his " Declaration of Independence " from 
the fetters of the old Psalmody. It was even more mem- 
orable as the first hymn book in which his own " Rock 
of Ages " appeared and thus began its remarkable career. 
Toplady wrote other hymns that have been widely sung. 
But " Rock of Ages " is to-day in more church hymnals 
than is any other English hymn. And in the opinion of 
many judges it is the greatest hymn in the language. 
Its warmth of feeling and fervor of devotion, with a cer- 
tain note of solemnity like the rhythmic pealing of 
deep-toned bells, have made an abiding impression upon 
millions of human hearts. 


It is an odd coincidence that as Charles Wesley was 
born in the year in which Watts printed " There is a land 
of pure delight," so Toplady was born in the year in 
which the Wesleys printed " Jesu, Lover of my soul." 

He * was born in the English village of Farnham on 
November 4, 1740. His father, a major in the army, died 
in the field within a few months of the birth of the son, 
who was left to the abundant love of the widow. He was 
a white-faced, fragile, neurotic child, mentally and spir- 
itually so precocious as to be abnormal. He remarked in 
his diary: " I am now arrived at the age of eleven years. 
I praise God I can remember no dreadful crime : and not 



to me but to the Lord be the glory. Amen. It is now 
past eight o'clock, and now I think fit to withdraw, but 
yet my heart is so full of divine and holy raptures, that 
a sheet of paper could not contain my writings." Self- 
conscious, proud, and passionate, he composes a daily 
prayer to be kept from quarreling with his schoolmates. 


At twelve he is writing sermons and preaching to those 
who will hear; and his mother embroiders for him a 
pulpit fall. She dotes on him, and is bringing him up, 
the grandmother thinks, to be a scourge to her. His 
uncle and aunt cannot make him out and frankly detest 
him. These critical relatives, one by one, the child pil- 
lories in his diary. Aunt Betsy, for example, " is so 
vastly quarrelsome; in short, she is so fractious, and 
captious, and insolent, that she is unfit for human so- 


ciety." A boy who fails to appear at the hour appointed 
becomes " the dishonourable Norreys." A woman who 
" said I am a second Timothy " fared better, though " I 
do not set this down from my vanity." At thirteen he 
composes a farce, which he intends to show to the great 
Mr. Garrick of Drury Lane. At fourteen he becomes a 
writer of hymns, and at nineteen publishes a volume of 

After his school days in London, Toplady went with 
his mother to Ireland, and entered Trinity College, Dub- 
lin. One summer day in 1756, at a revival meeting in 
an Irish barn, he " was brought nigh to God " under a 
sermon by a Methodist preacher, James Morris. He de- 
termined to prepare for the ministry. But he then held 
to the Arminian theology of Methodism. When he came 
to study the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of Eng- 
land he was surprised to find them Calvinistic, and 
thought he would have to seek a sphere in one of the 
Arminian sects. Further study brought deep misgiv- 
ings, and in great agitation of mind he completely 
changed his views. He became an ardent Calvinist, and 
as such entered the ministry of the Church of England. 

His ministry was to be short. He was curate of Blag- 
don, in Somerset, in 1762, and of Farley Hungerford two 
years later ; then vicar of Harpf ord and Fen Ottery, and 
later of Broad Hembury; three obscure villages of 
Devon, not far from Exeter. He preached with great 
nervous excitement, his flaming spirit set in the frail 
candlestick of a diseased body. The seeds of consump- 
tion developed in those days an inevitable doom. He 
craved a larger opportunity for his last years. His 
friends engaged the Huguenot Chapel in Orange Street, 
London, where he preached to great congregations, until 


no longer able to mount the pulpit steps. On August 
n, 1778, that passionate heart ceased to beat. His body 
was buried within the walls of Whitefield's Tabernacle in 
Tottenham Court Road. 

Toplady lived in a time of theological controversy. 
And when he adopted Calvinistic views in his ardent way, 
he felt that he had been delivered from a dark pit, in 
which John Wesley dwelt as a sort of Jinnee. In a pam- 
phlet of 1769, The Church of England vindicated from 
the charge of Arminianism, he tried to prove that the 
Church was Calvinistic. Henceforward in conversation, 
letters, sermons, hymns, tracts, and treatises he spent 
himself in setting forth and defending the Calvinistic 
doctrine of Election. 

The actual quarrel with John Wesley began after Top- 
lady published later in the same year a translation of 
Zanchius on Predestination. Wesley printed an abridg- 
ment of it for his societies, with a stinging preface of his 
own, and at the end an unfair summary professing to 
be signed " A T ." 

Toplady's feelings were outraged by what he called 
" Mr. Wesley's lying abridgment " and " forging " of his 
signature. He printed A Letter to the Rev. Mr. John 
Wesley, which in the recklessness of its misjudgment of 
a good man, the audacity of its unmerited charges, and 
the offensiveness of its language, has never, one likes 
to think, had a parallel in religious debate. It was in- 
deed pitiful, if only a burst of sudden passion, or if it 
stood alone. But it was followed by More work for Mr. 
John Wesley, an old Fox tarred and feathered^ and by 
a hounding of Wesley's name and reputation that ended 
only with death. 

In his last illness Toplady had himself taken to the 


Orange Street Chapel. Some one had started a rumor 
that he had changed his views and wished to converse 
with Mr. Wesley. At the end of the sermon preached by 
another, Toplady's emaciated figure mounted the pulpit 
steps. He hoped, he said, his last hours " would be 
much better employed than in conversing with such a 
man." Were he on his death-bed with a pen in his hand, 
he " would not strike out a single line " he had written 
relative to Wesley and Ms doctrines. 

No wonder that Professor J. Ritchie Smith, of Prince- 
ton Seminary, should exclaim in his The Wall and the 
Gates, i( Is this the author of Rock of Ages ? " and should 
cite Toplady as a historical illustration of the fact that 
" orthodoxy covers a multitude of sins in our sight, 
though it may be itself the worst of sins." The venera- 
tion that surrounds Toplady's name in so many books is 
due to some extent to party spirit. Though not a widely 
read theologian, he was the clearest brain and the recog- 
nized leader on the Calvinistic side in " a hot time," and 
his followers inevitably glorified him. It is best to 
say frankly that his combative side deserves the venera- 
ation of no Christian. To seek some palliation of Top- 
lady's offense in a morbid body and diseased nerves is 
right enough. We may try to forgive it, but we cannot, 
if we are to study " Rock of Ages," forget it, for he has 
chosen to use the hymn as part of his " case " against 
Wesley, just as a lawyer annexes an " exhibit " to Ms 

In the meantime the pure and fervid hymn is none the 
less the gift of God. He is pleased to store His gifts in 
earthen vessels. Neither a holy sacrament nor a holy 
hymn is spoiled by any lack of perfect whiteness in the 
human hand through which it comes. 



Outside the village of Burrington Combe in Somerset, 
England, a limestone crag rises some seventy or eighty 
feet. Down the center is a deep fissure, in whose re- 
cesses ferns grow. During July, 1921, some English 
newspapers announced that a pilgrimage was being or- 
ganized to visit the spot, as that in which Toplady com- 
posed "Rock of Ages, cleft for me." On the Bank 
Holiday of August following, a great company, estimated 
at ten thousand, made the pilgrimage, and in the natural 
amphitheater facing the crag joined in prayer, heard 
addresses, and sang the hymn. It was a wonderful 
testimonial to the power of the hymn after a hundred 
and forty-five years. 

The odd feature of the occasion is that no one present 
could have known that Toplady wrote the hymn 
there or even had the crag in mind when he did write it. 
There is a local tradition, apparently not old but care- 
fully fostered, that he was caught one day by a thunder- 
storm in Burrington Combe, took refuge in the fissure, 
and there wrote the hymn. No evidence of the truth of 
the story has ever been produced. It seems more likely 
that the story grew out of the fc cleft for me " in the 
hymn, rather than that the hymn proceeded from the 
fissure. Just as in the case of "Jesus, Lover of my 
soul," the story of the dove taking refuge in Charles 
Wesley's breast grew out of the line, " Let me to Thy 
bosom fly." 

It is true that the crag is within walking distance of 
Blagdon Church, where Toplady was curate. But he 
left there in 1764, and not a line of the hymn is known 
to exist until October, 1775 eleven years afterwards. 




The present writer sees little room for doubt that what 
Toplady actually had before him when he wrote the 
hymn was a copy of the Wesleys 5 Hymns on the Lord's 
Supper (1745), of which eleven editions had appeared 
before the date of the hymn. It was a book Toplady 
would be sure to examine. And on page eight of the 
prefatory matter he would find the following passage: 
" O Rock of Israel, Rock of Salvation, Rock struck and 
cleft for me, let those two Streams of Blood and Water 
which once gushed out of Thy side, bring down Pardon 
and Holiness into my soul. And let me thirst after them 
now, as if I stood upon the Mountain whence sprung this 
Water ; and near the Cleft of that Rock, the Wounds of 
my Lord, whence gushed this sacred Blood." If anyone 
questions that we have here the source from which Top- 
lady drew the theme and imagery of the hymn, he may 
turn to Hymn XXVII of the same book, whose opening is, 

"Rock of Israel, cleft for me." 

It is not doubt one is likely to feel, but wonder ; wonder 
that Toplady could appropriate these materials and yet 
write of John Wesley, " I believe him to be the most ran- 
corous hater of the gospel-system, that ever appeared in 
this island." 

We get our first glimpse of the hymn in The Gospel 
Magazine for October, 1775, where, in an article on " Life 
a Journey/' Toplady says: " Yet, if you fall, be humbled; 
but do not despair. . . , Look to the blood of the 
covenant ; and say to the Lord, from the depth of your 

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 

Let me hide myself in thee! 

Foul, I to the fountain fly: 

Wash me, Saviour, or I die." 


Whether the hymn was completely written out then, we 
shall never know. 

After he became editor of the magazine, Toplady 
printed in the number for March, 1776, a curious article 
by " J. F." aiming to show that England could never 
pay her national debt. Toplady appended a " spiritual 
improvement," showing that sinners are in the same case 
as regards their debt to the moral law. Reckoning one 
sin to every second, " at ten years old, each of us is 
chargeable with 315 millions and 36 thousand sins. At 
twenty, with 630 millions, and 720 thousand," and so on, 
by decades, till the end of life. " This debt we can 
never pay. But Christ has redeemed us from the curse 
of the Law and His Blood cleanseth from all sin. We 
must bless God the Father for electing us, God the Son 
for assuming our debts, God the Holy Spirit for His gift 
of faith in Christ." 

Then follow the four verses of the hymn. Unfortu- 
nately, even in this mood of exaltation, Toplady cannot 
overlook John Wesley. And he heads his hymn, " A liv- 
ing and dying PRAYER for the HOLIEST BELIEVER 
in the World!' Possibly that sarcastic phrase, " the 
holiest believer in the world," did not refer to Wesley in 
person, but to any follower who thought he exemplified 
Wesley's doctrine that entire holiness is attainable while 
in the flesh. Even a perfectionist, perhaps Toplady 
means, is none too holy to use the words of this hymn. 

Toplady, as has been said, included " Rock of Ages " 
in his collection published that same year. It does not 
seem to have attracted special attention, and during the 
thirty years following it is not found in many hymn 
books. But such postponement is a commonplace in the 
history of hymns. The turn of this hymn came early 


in the nineteenth century, and it gradually advanced to 
the first place as regards the proportion of church 
hymnals that found room for it. 


r. The Scriptures from which the imagery is taken, in 
the passage of the Wesleys 7 Hymns on the Lord's Supper 
and in the first verse of Toplady's hymn, seem to be the 
cleft rock of Ex. 33 122 and the smitten rock of Ex. 17 :6, 
and these as interpreted by I Cor. 10 14, " And that Rock 
was Christ," and by the pierced side of Jesus, with the 
outflow of water and blood. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes 
said it was these material images that made the hymn so 
impressive. Are the images confused in the hymn ? The 
Rev. William Henry Havergal thought so, and tried to 
make two hymns of it ; one on the Rock as the Shelter, 
the other on the Rock as the Source of the water of life. 
But no one seemed to care for his hymns. 

The beautiful phrase, " Rock of Ages," is also Scrip- 
tural. Toplady took it from the reading, in the margin 
of the King James Version, of Isa. 26 '.4. 

2. In printing the hymn in his Psalms and Hymns, 
Toplady made some changes in it. The one for which 
we are most grateful is in the new title of the hymn, 
which leaves Mr. Wesley out. It reads " A Prayer, living 
and dying." He now began the fourth verse with 
" while " in place of the hissing " whilst." And he put 
" When I soar to worlds unknown " for " When I soar 
through tracts unknown." Is this change an improve- 

The Hymnal revised follows this text, except in read- 
ing " When my eylids close in death " in place of " When 


my eye-strings break In death." It was a mistaken 
notion that in dying the muscles or tendons of the eye 
snapped. Shakespeare uses the same phrase in his 
Cymbeline. The new line has been substituted by gen- 
eral consent. As actual fact is in question, would not 
" When mine eyes are closed in death " be still nearer 
the truth? 

In 1815 the Rev. Thomas Cotterill of Sheffield con- 
densed the four verses into three for a hymn book of his 
own. For many years this three-verse form of the hymn 
was the only one known in Episcopalian and Methodist 
hymn books. But the full form of the hymn has now 

3. Of the tunes for this hymn in The Hymnal revised, 
that by Redhead, to which he gave no name, is most 
popular in England. It was Number 76 in his book of 
Church Hymn Tunes, 1853, and is generally known as 
" Redhead Number 76." In this country Thomas Hast- 
ings 7 " Toplady " is more popular. He wrote it for a 
hymn book called Spiritual Songs that came out as a 
series of little pamphlets, beginning in 1830, and was de- 
signed to combat the introduction of revival and ballad 
tunes into Presbyterian churches by offering some that 
were more reverent and yet simple and easy to sing. 
The tune " Reliance," Number 322 in The Hymnal re- 
vised, was also composed for this hymn at the request 
of the committee in charge of the original edition. In 
revising the book it was thought best to set other words 
to this tune. Its composer was an English musician, 
then living in Denver* 




1 God of our fathers, whose almighty hand 
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band 

Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies, 
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise. 

2 Thy love Divine hath led us in the past; 
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast; 

Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide, and Stay; 
Thy word our law, Thy paths our chosen way. 

3 From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence, 
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defence; 
Thy true religion in our hearts increase, 
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace. 

4 Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way, 
Lead us from night to never-ending day; 
Fill all our lives with love and grace Divine, 
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine. 

Rev. Daniel C. Roberts, 1876 

NOTE: The text is that printed in the Report of the Protestant 
Episcopal Hymnal Commission to the General Convention of 1892. 

This Fourth of July hymn was written in 1876 by Dr. 
Daniel C. Roberts, a New England clergyman, for the 
centennial of the Declaration of Independence. It seems 



at first a far cry from this hymn to those of the eight- 
eenth century revival in old England which we have 
been studying together ; but there is, after all, a real con- 
nection between the political events the new hymn cele- 
brates and the great revival out of which the old ones 

The fact is that in England, as the fourth day of July, 
1776, approached, most of the people were a great deal 
more excited about the prospect of war with the American 
colonies than about the progress of the revival ; and none 
more concerned than were the leaders of the revival, 
which had made new bonds between the old country 
and the colonies. Whitefield had gone over to them 
again and again with his flaming gospel, and in one of 
them his worn-out body had lain at rest since 1770; but 
a host of his American converts remained. Both of the 
Wesleys also had lived in the colonies, and the American 
Methodists now numbered some thousands. 

John Wesley's sympathies were with the Americans at 
first. Then his sense of loyalty changed his mind, and he 
printed A calm Address to our American Colonies. In 
this he appropriated, with or without permission, the con- 
tents of a pamphlet, Taxation no tyranny, by that same 
Dr. Johnson who gave a coin to the girl with a hymn 
book in her hand. It was then that the redoubtable Mr. 
Toplady put forth his An old Fox tarr'd and feather'd. 
Toplady was earnestly opposed to making war against 
the Americans, but it was not in their behalf that he 
published his pamphlet. His intention, as he said, was, 
first, to show Wesley's dishonesty in stealing Dr. John- 
son's materials, "and, second, to raise a little skin by 
giving the Fox a gentle flogging as a turn-coat. 37 That 
was in October, 1775. A few months later Mr. Toplady 


printed something pleasanter to remember his " Rock 
of Ages, cleft for me." That was in March, 1776. It is, 
of course, nothing more than an interesting coincidence 
that the centennial year of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence in which Dr. Roberts' hymn was written was also 
the centennial year of " Rock of Ages." And in view of 
its great influence in both England and America, Top- 
lady's hymn might well have had a little centennial cele- 
bration all its own. 


When the present writer was gathering materials for 
The Hymnal, published in 1895, he became familiar with 
the hymn " God of our fathers," by the Rev. Daniel C 
Roberts, set to George William Warren's music in that 
musical edition of the Protestant Episcopal Hymnal 
of 1892, commonly called "Tucker's Hymnal." Mr. 
Warren was a warm personal friend. Dr. Roberts 
showed himself friendly. Permission to use hymn and 
tune was readily given. And so the hymn got into The 

An unfamiliar hymn in a church hymnal is always a 
venture, especially one with long lines. Would this one 
" take " ? It soon became plain that it was being used 
in patriotic services ; and at the end of 1900 the present 
writer, having in mind a study such as this, so long de- 
ferred, asked the author for some account of the hymn! 
and for a copy of it by his own hand. 

Dr. Roberts very kindly furnished the requested auto- 
graph, which is here reproduced in facsimile; and this 
is what he wrote from Concord, New Hampshire, on 
January 8, 1901 : 


" The hymn was written in 1876 for a celebration of 
the Centennial * Fourth ' of July, and sung at Brandon, 
Vermont, to the tune called 'Russian Hymn/ set to 
' Rise, crowned with light ' in our Hymnals. When our 
General Convention appointed a Commission to revise the 
Hymnal, I sent it, without my name, promising to send 
the name if the hymn were accepted. It was accepted, 
and printed anonymously in the report of the Commis- 
sion. Before the Hymnal was printed, the Rev d Dr. 
Tucker, late of Troy, editor of our best musical Hymnal, 
and Mr. Geo. Wm. Warren, organist of S. Thomas 7 
Church, New York, were appointed a committee to 
choose a hymn for the centennial celebration of the 
adoption of the Constitution. They selected this hymn, 
then anonymous, and, wanting a tune, Mr. Warren com- 
posed a tune to which it has since been set in the 
1 Tucker ' Hymnal. Subsequently it was selected as the 
' Recessional ' at the ' Bi-Centenary ' of Trinity Church, 
New York City. 

" My little hymn has thus had very flattering official 
recognition. But that which would really gladden my 
heart, popular recognition, it has not received. Mr. War- 
ren's tune is majestic. Mr. Parker's in Hutchins' 
Hymnal rather academic : the kind of tune appealing to 
the c Demos ' has not appeared. I should be more than 
gratified if the * people ' should take it up. In fact, I con- 
fess, that after its favorable official reception, I had a 
little hope which took the form of an ambition, that it 
might be so. But that has not happened. Recognition 
from you is very grateful to me. It had never occurred 
to me to think of it as of value, until the incidents above 
related befell, and then I allowed myself to dream a 





Dr. Roberts' letter, with Its frank human touch, is 
very engaging, but he did not understand how heavy the 
odds are against any new hymn getting a real hearing, 
even after it has edged its way into our over-full church 
hymnals. If he were now alive he would see that this 
hymn has won its present favor very largely through the 
appeal of the music Mr. Warren composed for it. And 
that makes it proper that we should also give Mr. Warren 
his share of the credit. 

George William Warren was born in the city of Albany 
in 1828 and was educated at Racine College. Although 
he became Professor of Music at Columbia University, 
his musical education was due to his own indefatigable 
efforts : he was self-taught. Early in life he composed a 
number of piano pieces, and the royalties from one of 
them, " Tarn o' Shanter," brought him quite a little in- 
come every year to the end of his life. He was an organ- 
ist and choirmaster from the age of eighteen, at Albany, 
Brooklyn, and for more than thirty years at St. Thomas' 
in New York. These were the years of his greatest 
power and reputation; and the music of St. Thomas' 
became a popular feature of New York life, drawing 
crowds to the church. His tunes, mostly composed for 
St. Thomas' choir, belonged rather to the older parlor- 
music school than to the later u Anglican " school. They 
were spontaneous and melodious, and were full of feel- 
ing, as the composer himself was. 

He was a man of high-strung temperament, of deep 
affections, a sincere manner, and rather blunt speech. 
He died of apoplexy on March 17, 1902, and was buried 
from the church he loved with a solemn service in which 


there was not a note of music, even of the organ. It was 
intended to suggest that there was no one any longer to 
lead the music of St. Thomas'; and it was in contrast 
with an earlier commemoration of Mr. Warren's twenty- 
five years of service, at which all the music was of his 
composition and his tune to Dr. Roberts' hymn was sung 
as the processional. 

Mr. Warren contributed two tunes to The Hymnal of 
1895, one of which, " Log College," is retained in The 
Hymnal revised. It was quite characteristic of him that 
he refused to receive any compensation for this tune, 
preferring that it should appear as a mark of friendship 
for the writer of the words and the editor of the book. 


Dr. Roberts' letter of 1901 went on to say: 
" My personal history is of little account. I was born 
in Bridge Hampton, Long Island, N. Y., Nov. 5 th 1841. 
Entered Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in 1857. En- 
listed as a private in 1862. Was ordained Deacon in 
1865, Priest in 1866. Served as Rector of Christ Church, 
Montpelier, Vermont; S. John's, Lowell, Mass.; S. 
Thomas's, Brandon, Vermont, and for the last twenty- 
three years have been Vicar of S. Paul's Church, Con- 
cord, N. H., of which parish the Bishop of New Hamp- 
shire is titular Rector. I remain a country Parson, 
known only within my own small world." 

This is the brief life record of a man efficient in his 
parishes and trusted in the wider councils of his denom- 
ination. He had more recognition than he has admitted : 
as a Mason and a Civil War veteran; as President of 
the State Historical Society while in New Hampshire, 


and President of the State Normal School in Vermont. 
He was apparently a good, manly, warm-hearted, clear- 
headed, hard-working clergyman : one of a type of which 
no Church can have too many examples. Some occa- 
sional verses and carols reveal another turn of his mind 
and hand. He would have been the last to claim that 
they revealed him as a poet. Dr. Roberts died " on the 
Vigil of All Saints Day " of 1907 : so the denominational 
newspapers reported. Some of their readers might have 
preferred a simpler record of the date. 

The regiment in which Dr. Roberts enlisted in 1862 
was the Eighty-fourth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. 
Like so many of those who survived the great adventure 
of the Civil War, he was always afterward at heart a 
veteran soldier. Indeed he reentered military service as 
chaplain in the National Guard of New Hampshire. It 
may therefore be fitting that this brief record of his life 
should close with the last verse of his own word picture 
of a soldier's day, which he printed as War Etchings: 

Now silence broods with shadowy wings, 
The watchful sentry's footfall rings, 

'The soldier sleeps beneath the sky, 
While night winds murmur lullaby. 


i. When we attain the perfection to which Mr. Wesley 
summoned us, to the great indignation of Mr. Toplady, 
we shall no doubt be able to write perfect hymns. Dr. 
Roberts had not yet attained perfection in the art of 
writing verse, and his hymn is not free from faults. 

That it begins with the same phrase as Kipling's " Re- 
cessional " does, is a bit unfortunate, but no fault of 



Dr. Roberts, since Kipling's fine hymn was yet unwritten. 
It is, however, a question whether the opening lines, with 
their majestic figure of the Almighty leading forth the 
processional of starry worlds, are quite lived up to In 
the lines that follow. It may be Interesting to compare 
the hymn in this respect with Mr. Chadwick's " Eternal 
Ruler of the ceaseless round " (No. 351 in The Hymnal 
revised), which opens with the same figure. And then, if 
we are to sing a number of verses to the same tune, it is 
plain that the accents or stresses of the voice should be 
distributed uniformly, so that the emphasis In the music 
and In the words should match throughout. Do any of 
these lines fail in that respect, and. If so, which lines ? 

The hymn is a metrical prayer, not very poetical and 
hardly more eloquent than many an extemporized prayer 
one might hear from the pulpit on patriotic occasions. 
But it is devout and dignified and serviceable. It has 
the heart of the matter In It. Mr. Warren's trumpets 
call to the congregation, and the people respond gladly, 
and not without a thrill " for God and country." Per- 
haps we can hardly think of the hymn apart from Mr. 
Warren's music. But then we do not have to. 

2. Of all the hymns written for the centennial of 
American Independence, this is the only one that appears 
to have found a permanent place in our hymn books. 
Attempts have been made to get a hearing for Whittier's 
" Centennial Hymn," beginning, 

Our fathers' God! from out whose hand 

The centuries fall like grains of sand. 

But his verses are so true to the particular occasion 
for -which they were written that they are not easily 

adapted to a more general use. 


3. The great World War made unexpected demands 
upon our limited stock of patriotic songs. And it may 
be a question still whether we have a full supply of good 
hymns for the Fourth of July. If more are needed, it 
might be worthwhile for anyone who has a copy of the 
old Presbyterian Hymnal of 1874 to take a look at the 
" Hymn for the Fourth of July, 1832," by the author of 
" The Star-Spangled Banner," which begins, 

Before the Lord we bow 

The God who reigns above, 
And rules the world below, 

Boundless in power and love. 

Meantime it is satisfactory to have Dr. Roberts' hymn to 
commemorate the Centennial, alongside of Dr. Bacon's 
" O God, beneath Thy guiding hand," commemorating 
the Pilgrim Fathers, and Dr. Holmes' " Lord of hosts, 
Almighty King! " commemorating the Civil War. 



1 How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds 

In a believer's ear! 
It soothes Ms sorrows, heals his wounds, 

And drives away his fear. 

2 It makes the wounded spirit whole, 

And calms the troubled breast; 
J TIs Manna to the hungry soul, 
And to the weary Rest. 

3 Dear Name! the Rock on which I build, 

My Shield and Hiding-place, 
My never-failing Treasury, filled 
With boundless stores of grace; 

4 Jesus, my Shepherd, Brother, Friend, 

My Prophet, Priest, and King, 
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, 
Accept the praise I bring. 

5 Weak Is the effort of my heart, 

And cold my warmest thought; 
But when I see Thee as Thou art, 
111 praise Thee as I ought. 

6 Till then I would Thy love proclaim 

With every fleeting breath; 

And may the music of Thy Name 
Refresh my soul in death. 

Rev. John Newton, 1779 

NOTE: The text is taken from the first edition of Newton's Olney 
Hymns, 1779, with the omission of the original fourth verse and 
the change of "Husband" to "Brother" in the fourth verse as 
here numbered. 



When "good Lady Huntingdon" seceded from the 
Church of England, a number of the clergy who had 
helped her work felt it their duty to remain in the old 
Church, although they knew very well that they were 
not wanted. They formed themselves into that Evan- 
gelical, or, as we usually call it, Low Church Party of 
which we heard in connection with Mr. Toplady. These 
men were Calvinistic in their theology, and claimed their 
right to preach the gospel as they believed it, and also 
to sing evangelical hymns in church as well as the met- 
rical Psalms bound up with the prayer books. With not 
much of a party organization, these Evangelicals tried 
to carry on the revival, in London when they could, but 
mostly in the isolation of their country parishes. 


The story of the hymn whose title heads this chapter 
takes us into one of those country parishes, Olney, on the 
bank of the river Ouse, in the county of Buckinghamshire. 
The little town consisted mostly, and does yet, of one 
street, widening into a market place; the most conspicu- 
ous object being the parish church, with its ungraceful 
spire. The town was not pretty, nor the people well-to-do 
or well educated. Many pilgrims go to Olney nowadays 
for the poet Cowper's sake. But what first carried its 
name far and wide in England and America was nothing 
other than a hymn book written there and called Olney 

The pulpit of the parish church was filled by a bluff 
and manly Evangelical, John Newton, whose looks and 
ways brought a whiff of the sea. He had been a sailor, 
and in 1764 was ordained and appointed a curate of the 
parish, the vicar being of the absentee sort. 



Newton's preaching began to fill the church, but he 
gave special attention to young people's work and se- 
cured permission to use Lord Dartmouth's empty man- 
sion, the Great House. Here of a Thursday afternoon 
he gathered the children, not for the usual catechism ex- 
ercise, but to explain the Scriptures " in their own little 
way." In the evenings he' had meetings for older people, 
with extempore prayers and exhortation; and he intro- 
duced the singing of hymns. All of which may seem 
commonplace now; but it was quite enough then and 
there to stamp the curate a " Methodist/' as the hard- 
and-fast Churchman dubbed all Evangelicals. And one 
at least of Newton's neighboring rectors refused to speak 
to him when they passed. 

It was for these revival meetings at the Great House 
that Newton began to write hymns of his own, not ven- 
turing as yet to displace the metrical Psalms from the 
parish church services. And that is the reason most of 
his hymns are so confined to personal spiritual experi- 
ences. They have the anxious tone that a pastor's 
preaching takes in time of revival. He wrote only one 
great song of praise, the still familiar " Glorious things 
of thee are spoken." 

Newton was not a poet and did not pretend to be one. 
" There is," he said, " a stile and manner suited to the 
composition of hymns, which may be more successfully, 
or at least more easily attained by a versifier, than by a 
poet." He was writing for plain people, and made his 
hymns so simple that these could follow and understand. 
In all this he took his cue from Dr. Watts. Newton had 
a ready pen, some imagination, deep feeling, a knowledge 
of Scripture, and an urgent motive ; something else, also, 
that we may best call the power of virility. And once 


in a while, as in this hymn and in " Quiet, Lord, my fro- 

ward heart/' he climbed nearer to the heights where poets 

At one time Newton was writing a hymn every week 
for his prayer meeting, where no doubt they were given 
out verse by verse or even by couplets. By 1779 they 
mounted up to two hundred and eighty, and that year he 
gathered them with sixty-eight more by his friend and 
neighbor, William Cowper, and published them at 
London as 




Book I. On select Texts of SCRIPTURE. 
Book II. On occasional SUBJECTS. 
Book III. On the Progress and Changes 

None of the hymns is dated. " How sweet the Name of 
Jesus sounds " is No. 57 of " Book I. On select Texts of 
Scripture." Its text is Solomon's Song, chapter 1 13 ; and 
its title is The name of JESUS." 

Olney Hymns is best understood as a revival hymn 
book. In its day it had the same welcome and popularity 
that Gospel Hymns of the Moody and Sankey revival had 
in ours. But the books cannot be compared, since it was 
the music of Gospel Hymns that won the day. Olney 
Hymns had no tunes at all, but its hymns exactly met 
the need of the Evangelical preachers and their converts. 
It was the Evangelical theology put into rhyme for sing- 
Ing, but even more for reading and remembering. It 
became an Evangelical handbook, printed over and over 
In England and America, and it exerted an immense in- 


fluence. The simple verses exercised over many minds 
the fascination that nursery rhymes have for children. 
The Roman Catholic hymn writer, Faber, speaks of their 
acting like a spell upon him for many years in his Pro- 
testant youth and coming back unbidden through Ms 
Catholic years. And now that the career of Olney Hymns 
is run, a few of its choicer strains survive among the 
permanent treasures of the Church. 


The curate of Olney was a marked man ; not only be- 
cause he was an Evangelical, but because he was " a man 
with a past." He was one of those whom people point 
to in the street with a nudge and a " Do you know about 
him?" This was due to the startling disclosure of his 
experiences he published just after coming to Olney as 
" The authentic Narrative " of his life. It was a record 
of debauchery, and it would be hard for one man to 
paint an enemy as black as Newton painted himself 
in that book. 

He was born in London in July, 1725, of a godly 
mother who lived long enough to make a religious im- 
pression upon his childish heart. His father was captain 
of a merchantman in the Mediterranean trade ; a severe, 
silent man, of whom the boy was rather afraid. At the 
age of eleven lie was taken from school, and went to sea 
with his father on half a dozen voyages. The boy plainly 
was hot-blooded, willful, and " irregular " in his conduct. 
But he was far from passing these years without 
" troublesome convictions " and religious experiences. 
" I think I took up and laid aside a religious profession 
three or four times before I was sixteen years of age; but 


all this while my heart was insincere. I often saw a 
necessity of religion as a means of escaping hell ; but I 
loved sin, and was unwilling to forsake it." His " last 
reform" was the most remarkable; a year or more of 
prayer and Scripture-reading covering " the greatest part 
of every day." As far as shipboard conditions would per- 
mit, he became an ascetic, avoiding conversation, eating 
no meat, and " bemoaning his former miscarriages." 

It may all have been mistaken, but it does not sound 
" insincere," as Newton called it. Surely to persevere 
in such a course in face of a jeering crew and of the 
temptations of southern ports shows a certain strength of 
character. It left Newton dull and disheartened, and an 
easy victim to some skeptical literature that fell in his 
way. Before long he had lost all sense of religious real- 
ity. He became an utter skeptic, " an infidel," as he 
said ; and with " the way prepared for all that is to 

Returning from a voyage to Venice in 1743, he was 
impressed on board a warship, but through his father's 
influence rated a midshipman. He deserted, was caught, 
brought back to Plymouth in chains, publicly flogged, and 
degraded to the rank of a common seaman. His disgrace, 
which he thought undeserved, embittered and hardened 
Mm. Quite reckless now, he plunged, according to his 
own testimony, into a career of degrading debauchery and 
moral shamelessness, and, "like one infected with a 
pestilence, was capable of spreading a taint wherever I 

He effected an exchange from the warship, glad to be 
rid of Mm, into a slave ship bound for the coast of 
Africa: his thought being that there he could "be as 
abandoned as I pleased, without any control." He en- 


tered the service of a slave trader in one of the Plantane 
.Islands, was treated with abominable cruelty and neglect, 
and went down into a depth of physical degradation 
where even most of the Negro slaves refused any dealings 
with him. 

In the end he got word to his father, and was rescued 
by a vessel commissioned to look out for him. On the 
way home he encountered a violent storm and was almost 
lost. In the stress a review of his past life brought him 
to shame, and from shame to prayer. He started out 
deliberately to rediscover the grounds of faith in the 
Gospels he had become accustomed to laugh over; and 
step by step he went forward toward the reality and as- 
surance of faith. He reached England in May, 1748, a 
Christian by conviction, though still feeling his way. 

Through all these wander-years Newton carried two 
talismans, a boy's memory of his mother and a man's 
love for a young girl he had left behind him in England. 
On his return the girl married Mm with a heroic trust, 
one would think. In seeking a livelihood Newton's new 
convictions did not prevent his entering the slave trade. 
The moral standards of the time had not yet condemned 
It. He made two voyages to Africa and the West Indies, 
and only an attack of apoplexy prevented a third. 

He was appointed tide surveyor at Liverpool in 1755, 
and held the post several years. There he came under 
the direct influence of Whitefield and the Evangelical 
Revival. He carried on his studies (even at his lowest he 
had never wholly foregone them), began to preach oc- 
casionally as a lay evangelist, and felt the call to enter 
the ministry. He wavered between the established and 
dissenting churches, and chose the established. But he 
could not find in all England a bishop willing to ordain 


him, until Lord Dartmouth came to his rescue. Dart- 
mouth was Secretary of State in charge of America, 
friendly to the colonies, and after him our Dartmouth 
College was named. He was at the same time an Evan- 
gelical and a liberal helper of Lady Huntingdon. He 
made new interest in high quarters and secured Newton's 
ordination on agreeing to appoint him to the curacy of 
Olney, Newton " was too much in earnest about religion 
to be readily entrusted with a commission to teach it, 


Ij JU, 



except as a matter of favour to a great man: " so Sir 
George Otto Trevelyan remarks in his delightful book, 
The American Revolution. It is possible also that 
Newton's record seemed very " irregular " to the bishops. 
In his own heart that record was indelible. He be- 
came a faithful pastor, at Olney for nearly sixteen years, 
and at St. Mary Woolnoth, London, for twenty-eight 
more.* He became a leader of the Evangelical Party, 
loved and trusted. But in his own heart, and on his own 

* "My race at Olney is nearly finished; I am about to form a 
connection for life with one Mary Woolnoth, a respected London 
saint in Lombard Street." (Newton to Bull, Sept. 21, 1779.) 


tongue, to the end of his life, he was always " the old 
African blasphemer." Was he really called upon, we 
sometimes ask, to publish that Narrative and continually 
to blacken a good name fairly won? He thought so. 
He was the living proof that God could save even to the 
uttermost. And he thought he was called upon to give 
his testimony In plain terms and at any cost. 

Into his hymns also Newton's experiences are written 
deep. One day, when Ms memory was almost gone, he 
said, " I can never forget two things : first, that I was a 
great sinner, and, second, that Jesus is a great Saviour." 
The first memory explains an undertone of sadness In the 
hymns : the second explains why he wrote " How sweet 
the Name of Jesus sounds." 

Newton lived to be eighty-two, and died December 
21, 1807. He was buried beneath his church of St. Mary 
Woolnoth, and a tablet was placed on the church wall 
with a touching Inscription prepared by himself: 














In 1893 the excavations for the London underground 
railway disturbed the church vaults; and Newton's re- 
mains were removed and reburied in the churchyard at 



1. The Daily Service book of the Roman Catholic 
Church has an office for the " Feast of the Most Holy 
Name of Jesus." It includes two parts of one of the 
most beautiful of Latin hymns, " Jesu, dulcis memoria." 
The Rev. Samuel W. Duffield, a Presbyterian lover of 
Latin hymns, thought it probable that these verses of 
Newton on the Name of Jesus are " an echo or para- 
phrase " of the Latin original. One wishes he had said 
why he thought so. Eighteenth century Evangelicals 
were not much interested in Latin hymns. But in this 
matter we have the materials at hand on which to base 
our own conclusion. Good translations of both parts of 
the Latin hymn are in The Hymnal revised: " Jesus, the 
very thought of Thee " (No. 545) and " O Jesus, King 
most wonderful 3J (No. 144). Is there any similarity be- 
tween these and Newton's hymn ? 

2. As originally written, " How sweet the Name of 
Jesus sounds " had seven verses. The weakest of these 
is omitted from The Hymnal revised; the original fourth 
verse. It ran, 

"By thee my pray'rs acceptance gain, 
Altho* with sin defii'd: 

Satan accuses me in vain, 
And I am own'd a child." 

Is the hymn better without this verse, or should it be 

restored ? 


3. There is also a change of one word from the original 
text of the first line of the present fourth verse, which 

" Jesus ! My Shepherd, Husband, Friend." 

We all dislike such changes from what an author wrote. 
But if men are to go to church at all, how can they ad- 
dress Christ as their husband? Was it not the Church 
rather than the individual Christian that was described 
as the Bride of Christ? 

4. In singing the first verse we have to pronounce 
" wounds " in such a way that the rhyme with " sounds " 
may be preserved. It is no great hardship, as Shakspeare, 
Marlowe, and Pope did the same thing habitually. In 
other connections it may be best to conform to recent 
usage by pronouncing the word as woond. 



i God moves in a mysterious way 

His wonders to perform; 
He plants His footsteps in the sea, 
And rides upon the storm. 

a Deep in unfathomable mines 

Of never-failing skill 
He treasures up His bright designs, 
And works His sovereign will. 

3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; 

The clouds ye so much dread 

Are big with mercy, and shall break 
In blessings on your head* 

4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, 

But trust Him for His grace; 
Behind a frowning providence 
He hides a smiling face. 

5 His purposes will ripen fast, 

Unfolding every hour; 
The bud may have a bitter taste, 
But sweet will be the flower. 

6 Blind unbelief is sure to err, 

And scan His work in vain; 
God is His own Interpreter, 

And He will make it plain. 

William Cowper, 1774 

NOTE: The text is taken from John Newton's Twenty-six Letters 
on religious subjects, London, 1774: from which book the hymn 
passed into Olney Hymns of 1779 without change. 



The names of John Newton, curate of Olney, and his 
neighbor, William Cowper, poet and author of this hymn, 
join together as naturally as If they were partners in a 
firm of " Newton and Cowper/ 7 Their lives were knit in 
one of the historic friendships. And they were indeed 
literary partners as joint authors of Olney Hymns, the 
famous hymn book of the Evangelical Party in the 
Church of England. Newton was the senior partner, and 
it was only after the dissolution of the firm that the 
junior partner became famous. 


William Cowper (he pronounced it Cooper) was born 
in the rectory of Berkhampstead in November, 1731. 
Left motherless when only six, he was sent to boarding 
school, and never forgot what he endured there from a 
big bully. He was taken away on account of eye trouble, 
and at the age of ten placed in the Westminster School 
at London. He said afterwards that he left school as 
ignorant of religion as the satchel at his back, but in that 
he was very like many other boys. He was articled 
to an attorney in whose office he idled away 
" three misspent years. 5 ' At the age of twenty-one he 
entered the Temple as a regular student of law ; not be- 
cause he had any drawing to that profession, but to please 
his father. He came of a legal family, his father being 
brother of a judge and nephew of a lord chancellor. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1754. 

The young lawyer made no attempt to practice. He 
made his office a gathering place of young wits. He 
kept up his classics, began to write verse, and sought 
gayety. He fell in love, first with his cousin Theodora,, 


whose father interposed, and again with a girl of Green- 
wich ; but his ardor cooled. If his life seems idle, it was 
perhaps busy in trying to forget himself. For he was 
already in the grip of the saddest of human ailments, 
brain disease. As soon as he began to live alone in the 
Temple, it showed itself. Gradually he lapsed into dread- 
ful depression. " Bay and night I was upon the rack, 
lying down in horror and rising up in despair." 

After a year of it he taught himself to pray, and com- 
posed a little liturgy. On recovering his spirits he threw 
the liturgy into the fire and relapsed into careless ways. 
Meantime he was using up the little money he had. His 
prospects at the bar were so hopeless that in his thirty- 
second year a relative got him an appointment to a clerk- 
ship in the House of Lords. Some difficulties arose, and 
the dread of having to stand a public examination so 
wrought upon him that he lost his reason and made sev- 
eral attempts to kill himself. 

These left behind an unutterable anguish and the firm 
conviction that he was sentenced already to eternal 
damnation ; as he wrote, 

Damned below Judas; more abhorred than lie was, 

Who for a few pence sold his holy Master: 

and so through those dreadful lines in which he envies 
the fate of the dead consigned to perdition, while he, 
fed with judgment, is buried above ground in a fleshly 
tomb. Visions and voices haunted him ; an awful dark- 
ness fell ; heavy blows of some great hammer beat upon 
the brain ; body and soul writhed in pain. Cowper was 
insane. There was nothing to do but to send him to an 
asylum at St. Albans. 
After eight months of despair the light began to glim- 


mer during a visit of Ms brother. Deliriums and delu- 
sions weakened, and he caught glimpses of God's mercy. 
Opening the Bible at Rom. 3:25 one day, " Immediately 
I received strength to believe, and the full beams of the 
Sun of Righteousness shone upon me." In that inward 
radiance he was content to spend a year of convalescence 
at St. Albans. 9 

When Cowper left the asylum and took the lodgings 
at Huntingdon his brother had provided, he needed surely 
the inward comfort of his new evangelical faith. For 
outward things were pretty forlorn. He was thirty-three ; 
he had failed in his profession, was dependent upon his 
relatives, was separated from all his friendships, and 
was, to put it gently, an invalid. Happily he found new 
friends in the Rev. Mr. Unwin and his family. They 
agreed to take Cowper into their cheerful home, where 
he lived contentedly with them until Mr. Unwin's sudden 
death in 1767. It is interesting to note in passing Cow- 
pers references to the family custom of gathering to sing 
cut of the new hymn book of the Rev. Martin 
iladan, one of the Evangelical leaders; because they 
show one of the ways in which the new Evangelical 
hymns were insinuating themselves into Church of Eng- 
land households to supplement the metrical Psalms they 
were expected to use at church. 

After Unwin's death there happened one of those seem- 
ingly casual incidents that change the course of men's 
lives. It was nothing more than a call of condolence 
from the Rev. John Newton, curate of Olney. Cowper 
had made up his mind to continue living with Mrs. Un- 
win, ic whose behavior to me has been that of a mother 
to a son." And now both were so much drawn to New- 
ton that they decided to move to Olney for the sake of 


being under his ministry. At their request he engaged 
for them a house in the market place of that town, then 
called " Orchard Side " and now kept up as the Cowper 
and Newton Museum. 


Only an orchard lay between the gardens of Newton's 
vicarage and the house he chose for Cowper. They made 
an opening in the vicarage wall ; they wore a path across 
the orchard; and they joined their hearts and lives in 


an inseparable friendship. Newton thoroughly appreci- 
ated Cowper, loved him tenderly, and no doubt in his 
own way tried to protect that sensitive nature against 
its own infirmity. Naturally he saw the importance of 
keeping Cowper's mind occupied, but he would not have 
been the fervent Evangelical he was if he had not made 
his friend's gift contribute to the work that absorbed his 
own energies. He engaged Cowper in visiting the sick 
and dying, persuaded him to lead the extempore prayers 
at the evening meetings, and to write hymns to be sung 


there after the sermon. It was for the occasion of re- 
moving those meetings to the larger room of the Great 
House that Cowper furnished his " Jesus, where'er Thy 
people meet." 

Other hymns express plainly Cowper's own experi- 
ences ; now cheerful, as in " Sometimes a Light sur- 
prises"; now retrospective, as he recalls that sudden 
radiance upon the text in Romans, 

The Spirit breathes upon the word, 
And brings the truth to sight; 

now regretful of the fading of the joy fulness of those 

latter days at St. Albans, 

Where Is the blessedness I knew 
When first I saw the Lord? 

and now in the depths of despondency, 

My former hopes are dead, 

My terror now begins; 

I feel, alas! that I am dead 

In trespasses and sins. 

For again the shadows were closing in. It may be that 
the revival atmosphere at Olney was too highly charged 
for Cowper. It may be that Newton was unwise in 
asking for those agitating public appearances at the 
Great House. It may be merely that Cowper's disease 
was approaching an inevitable outbreak. Whatever the 
occasion may have been, the visions and voices came 
back; black melancholy settled down. The voices told 
Cowper that God demanded his life in sacrifice, and once 
more he attempted suicide. 

With that catastrophe the hymn we are now studying 
is closely connected. It was the last, and has been gen- 


erally regarded as the outcome of the attempt at suicide. 
That was in October, 1773. Since The Hymnal was 
first printed, some new evidence as to its date has come 
to light. The writer is at present disposed to think it 
was written toward the end of 1772 or very early in 1773. 
This date gives added probability to the substantial ac- 
curacy of the statement in the Rev. Samuel Greatheed's 
funeral sermon that Cowper " conceived some presenti- 
ment " of the attack of insanity, and that " as it drew 
near, during a solitary walk in the fields," he composed 
this hymn " so expressive of that faith and hope which he 
attained so long as he possessed himself." Newton tes- 
tifies that even in the midst of his distress and fore- 
boding, and up to the date of the " terrible dream " that 
broke his heart early in 1773, Cowper often expressed 
his submission to God's sovereignty, and said that God 
was trying him only for the purpose of bringing about 
some good thing. 

Cowper's attack put an end to his hymn-writing. And 
it is only with Cowper the hymn writer we have here to 
deal. He was to recover from this attack and to spend 
years of comparative peace of mind and of poetic achieve- 
ment before the last onset of insanity ending only with 
his death in 1800. Cowper was over fifty years of age 
when he published his first volume of poems, and one 
likes to think of the fame he won as some compensation 
for the sorrows he endured. It was perhaps out of his 
sorrows he wrought that tender grace of his verse which 
keeps it still alive when the work of his contemporary 
poets lies so dead and forgotten. In all his serious poetry 
Cowper aimed to be the " poet of Christianity." And It 
was the Christianity of the Evangelical Revival; Chris- 
tianity as accepted and taught by the Evangelical Party 


in the Church of England. His poems have Indeed (quite 
recently) been described as " Methodism In verse." 

Cowper's hymns, with very few exceptions, were first 
put into print by John Newton. This particular one he 
printed in Ms Twenty-six Letters on religious subjects 
in 1774. It was copied Into The Gospel Magazine for 
July of the same year. In that year also It began its 
career in the hymn books, being included in the " Col- 
lection " of the Rev. Mr. Conyers, another of the Evan- 
gelical Party. Its place in the affections of the Church 
it has never lost. 

The hymn appeared again In Olney Hymns of 1779, 
with all the others Cowper had written before the attack 
of 1773. Newton explains the situation in a preface. 
It is odd that so many readers of books always skip the 
preface, generally the most human part of a book. 
Newton's Is quite touching. "The whole number [of 
hymns] were composed by two persons only. The orig- 
inal design would not admit of any other association." 
The book " was Intended as a monument, to perpetuate 
the remembrance of an Intimate and endeared friendship. 
With this pleasing view I entered upon my part, which 
would have been much smaller than it is, and the book 
would have appeared much sooner, and in a very different 
form, If the wise, though mysterious providence of God, 
had not seen fit to cross my wishes. We had not pro- 
ceeded far upon our proposed plan, before my dear 
friend was prevented, by a long and affecting indisposi- 
tion, from affording me any further assistance. My grief 
and disappointment were great ; I hung my harp upon the 
willows, and for some time thought myself determined 
to proceed no further without Mm. Yet my mind was 
afterwards led to assume the service. My progress in 


it, amidst a variety of other engagements, has been slow, 
yet in a course of years the hymns amounted to a consid- 
erable number. And my deference to the judgment and 
desires of others, has at length overcome the reluctance 
I long felt to see them in print, while I had so few of my 
friend's hymns to insert in the collection." 


i. When the earlier series of these studies was gathered 
into a book, a reviewer of it began by saying, " No great 
poet has ever written a hymn." His remark suggests 
several interesting topics for discussion, (i) Is there 
any more ground for expecting a great poet to write a 
hymn, simply because poems and hymns are both in 
verse, than there is for expecting a great novelist to write 
a sermon, simply because novels and sermons are both 
in prose? (2) Is it not probable that most great poets 
would be glad to write a great hymn? Poets like recog- 
nition and crave immortality. Is not the vision of multi- 
tudes singing their words for years and perhaps for cen- 
turies likely to appeal to them? (3) Are all great poets 
able to write great hymns ? Some of them cannot even 
write a good song. But to write a good hymn requires 
much more than a lyrical gift. When Dr. Jowett appealed 
to Lord Tennyson to write " a few hymns in a high 
strain," that great poet replied by saying that " to write a 
good hymn was the most difficult thing in the world." 
(4) But when all is said, some great and many eminent 
poets have in fact written hymns. Among English poets 
the names of Ben Jonson, Milton, Wordsworth, Scott, 
Tennyson, and Kipling, come to mind at once ; and on this 
side of the water those of Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, 


Lowell, and Holmes. Some have written whole books of 
hymns: Bryant in this country, and in England not only 
Cowper but the present poet laureate, Dr. Bridges, who 
has even compiled a parish hymn book. 

2. It would be a mistake to infer that because all of 
Cowper's sixty-eight Olney hymns were written by a 
poet they are all equally good. They are all spiritual 
and refined, and quite a number have proved useful. 
Some others seem like taskwork, and were perhaps writ- 
ten at Newton's request, to follow particular sermons of 
his in the Great House. The most famous of them is 
" There is a fountain filled with blood," in great favor 
among the older Evangelicals. Now it has become the 
fashion to criticize the imagery of its first verse as dis- 
tasteful and not correctly interpreting Scripture. 

Many would select as Cowper's best hymns, besides the 
one we are studying : 

" Hark, my soul, it Is the Lord ! " 
" O for a doser walk with God " 
" Sometimes a Light surprises "' 
" Jesus, where'er Thy people meet " 

with (for private use) 

"Far from the world, Lord, I flee." 

3. In Olney Hymns, " God moves in a mysterious way " 
is Number XV of the third " Book," Its title as there 

given is, 

" C. Light shining out of darkness." 

The " C " stands for Cowper's authorship, and the rest 
stands just as appropriately for his own experience. The 
text in The Hymnal revised is printed without change. 
Professor John E. B. Mayor lately found a commonplace 


book apparently in the handwriting of Cowper's first 
cousin, Maria, who married another cousin. Major Wil- 
liam Cowper. It contains copies of letters and verses of 
Cowper and the fifth verse of this hymn ends : 

The bud may have a bitter taste, 
But wait to smell the flower. 

Of the two readings, which is the better? 



1 All hail the power o Jesus' Name! 

Let angels prostrate fall; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

2 Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, 

Who fixed this floating ball; 
Now hail the strength of Israel's might, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

3 Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God 

Who from His altar call; 
Extol the Stem of Jesse's rod, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

4 Ye seed of Israel's chosen race, 

Ye ransomed of the fall, 
Hail Him who saves you by His grace, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

5 Sinners, whose love can ne'er forget 

The wormwood and the gall, 
Gp, spread your trophies at His feet, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 

6 Let every kindred, every tribe, 

On this terrestrial ball, 
To Him all majesty ascribe, 
And crown Him Lord of all. 


7 O that with yonder sacred throng 

We at His feet may fall; 
Well join the everlasting song, 
And crown Him Lord o all. 

Rev. Edward Perronet, 1779-80: verse i, line 4 altered, verse 
6 recast, verse 7 added by Rev. John Rippon, 1787 

NOTE: The text of the hymn found in modern hymnals is based 
upon the altered form which Dr. John Rippon gave it in his Baptist 
Selection of Hymns from the best Authors published in 1787. The 
text from The Hymnal revised, as given above, is an attempt to 
embody as much of the original text as seemed practicable without 
causing confusion in congregations used to Rippon's arrangement. 

As the original text is hard to come upon, it may be convenient 
to have it here as printed by Perronet himself in Ms Occasional 
Verses, moral and sacred, of 1785. 



ALL hail the power of JESU's name I 

Let Angels prostrate fall; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 

To crown Him LORD of All. 


Let high-born Seraphs tune the lyre, 

And, as they tune it, fall 
Before His face who tunes their choir, 

And crown Him LORD of All. 

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, 

Who fix'd this floating ball; 
Now haH the strength of ISRAEL'S might, 

And crown Him LORD of All. 


Crown Him, ye martyrs of your GOD, 

Who from His ALTAR call; 
Extol the stem of JESSE's rod, 

And crown Him LORD of All. 


Ye seed of ISRAEL'S chosen race. 

Ye ransom'd of the fall, 
Hail Him who saves you by His grace, 

And crown Him LORD of All 


Hail Him, ye heirs of DAVID's line, 
Whom David LORD did call; 

The GOD incarnate, man DIVINE; 
And crown Him LORD of All 

SINNERS! whose love can ne'er forget 

The WORMWOOD and the GALL, 
Go spread your trophies at His feet, 
And crown Him LORD of All. 


Let every tribe, and every tongue, 

That bound creation's call, 
Now shout in universal song, 


If one had a hymn or even a tune to contribute to the 
common stock In the later years of the Evangelical Re- 
vival, he sent it in to The Gospel Magazine, which had 
become the organ of the Calvinists. (It was there that 
Toplady in 1776 printed his " Rock of Ages.") But it 
was not quite the thing to sign your name to your hymn. 
You gave a pen name, or perhaps none, 

The Magazine for November, 1779, contained a tune 
engraved in copperplate, to which was set a verse 

"AH hail the Pow'r of Jesu's Name." 

One verse and no more. And not a sign as to who com- 


posed the tune or wrote the words. We know now that the 
composer was William Shrubsole, a young man of nine- 
teen who had been a choir boy at the cathedral at Can- 
terbury, and at the time was in London as a chapel 
organist. Shrubsole's tune at once attracted attention. 
That would naturally lead to inquiries for the remainder 
of the hymn. And in the April number of 1780 the whole 
hymn appeared in eight verses, with a footnote referring 
back to the tune, but without any clue as to the author. 


The editor of the Magazine must have been asked that 
question. If he knew, he did not publish his knowledge, 
and the authorship of the hymn remained a good deal of 
a puzzle for more than sixty years. It may be interest- 
ing now to arrange the pieces of the puzzle. 

(i) In 1785 a little book appeared in London as Oc- 
casional Verses, moral and sacred. Published for the 
instruction and amusement of the candidly serious and 
religious. These productions, the preface says, "were 
not originally intended for public view, but occasionally 
shewn to a handful of friends " : one of whom has per- 
suaded the author " to admit of their being made public 7J 
by his hands as " editor." 

Among these verses, at page 22, is the hymn 

"All hail the power of JESU's name!" 

with the same text as in The Gospel Magazine five years 
earlier. To know the author of the book, then, was to 
find the writer of the hymn. But the book was not pub- 
lished and circulated by the book trade. It was printed 
privately " for the editor " ; and outside the circle of the 
author's friends was very likely not even heard of. 


(2) The hymn itself, however, had appeared In the 
Magazine at a time when Independents and Baptists had 
been singing Dr. Watts's hymns a long while, and were 
looking out for fresh hymns to add to them. As early as 
1784 George Burder had taken this hymn into his Col- 
lection of Hymns intended as a Supplement to Dr. 
Watts's Psalms and Hymns. But he did not give the 
names of the authors of any of the hymns. 

(3) In 1787 Dr. Rippon published his notable " Selec- 
tion " as an Appendix to Dr. Watts. He included this 
hymn, with some changes and a new verse. He was a 
painstaking editor and sought to give the authors' names. 
But in this hymn he left a blank for the author's name, 
which evidently he did not know. 

(4) In an edition of a hymn book called Select Hymns 
and Anthems, printed at Tunbridge- Wells about 1790, 
appeared a curious variation or revision of the hymn, 

" All hail ! the powers of Jesus' grace. 
Let angels prostrate fall: 

Bring forth the royal diadem, 
And crown him, Lord of all." 

This was by " T. B." Now who was T. B.? Were these 
the initials of the original author, now presenting a re- 
vised version of his hymn? Or was T. B. a plagiarist, 
appropriating for his own materials that no one else had 
claimed? Neither the present writer nor his correspond- 
ents in England have been able to identify " T. B." 

(5) In 1801 two Independent clergymen, Messrs. Wil- 
liams and Boden, published A Collection of Six Hundred 
Hymns to supplement Watts. They copied this hymn 
from Rippon's book, but they filled Rippon's blank with 
" PERRONETT " as the author's name. 


(6) John DobelFs New Selection of 1806 won a great 
success. In it he printed " All hail " with some changes. 
He gave the author's name as " Duncan." The Rev. 
John Duncan was a Scottish Presbyterian and one of 
four friends of Dobell who prefixed their " Recommenda- 
tion " to his hymn book. Maybe Dr. Duncan had made 
a revised text of the hymn for his own use, and gave a 
manuscript copy to Dobell, who thought it Duncan's 
own. For some reason Duncan never had his own name 
erased in later editions of D obeli's book. And so a tradi- 
tion arose that " All hail " was written by " Duncan." 
Among Dr. Duncan's own descendants the tradition 
merged into an established truth. On the strength of 
DobelPs authority, even the enlarged edition of Rippon's 
book, as late as 1844, inserted Duncan's name where 
Rippon himself had left a blank. 

(7) In 1808 Thomas Young published his Beauties of 
Dr. Watts, &c. Young is said to have been the immedi- 
ate successor of the Rev. Edward Perronet as pastor of 
a small dissenting congregation at Canterbury. It is 
further said that Young in his book attributes this 
hymn to his predecessor and also quotes from Occasional 
Verses of 1785 several pieces as Perronet's. The writer 
has a copy of Beauties of Dr. Watts, but not apparently 
the same book here referred to. He does not question 
these facts, but they are not within his knowledge. They 
seem to show that Young acted on personal or at least 
local information in ascribing this poem to Edward Per- 
ronet. His ascription certainly attracted little attention 
at the time. 

(8) The hymn "All hail " came over to this country 
in copies of Dr. Rippon's hymn book of 1787, brought 
or sent here ; the book itself being reprinted in New York 



as early as 1792. And thus the hymn came with a blank 
space for the author's name. It caught the eye of Oliver 
Holden, a business man of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 

who was a self-taught musician and quite successful in 
composing hymn tunes in the florid style then in vogue. 



f'F'lf f-p H '" I'i'-^r^ ^T; 
|/.|)/ f |ti:,f,w^$|^ 

|fi f ,v I- | r ;,^||; 


He composed his jubilant " Coronation " for this hymn, 
and printed it in his Union Harmony, an oblong tune 
book in two volumes, published at Boston in 1793. From 
Holden's own copy, with the original copyright certificate 
pasted in, the present writer quotes the heading of the 
tune: "Coronation. C. M. Words by the Rev. Mr. 


Medley." Samuel Medley was one of The Gospel Maga- 
zine circle of hymn writers. But why Holden selected 
him for this honor is not clear. Nor is it important, as 
Holden did not start a Medley tradition. 

(9) The hymn came anew to this country in Dobell's 
hymn book, reprinted here in 1810. With it came Dun- 
can's name as author ; and here the " Duncan " tradition 
gained new currency. So that when the time came around 
for American Presbyterians and Congregationalists to 
make hymn books of their own, it was as the hymn of 
" Duncan " that " All hail " went into them one by one. 
Not that any of the editors had the least idea who or 
what " Duncan " was. 

(10) The Evangelical Magazine for December, 1858, 
had a rather teasing communication from "J. K." of 
Stepney, who seems to have met a son of one of Edward 
Perronet's Canterbury friends. " We have before us," 
he says, " the hymn, All hail, &c./ on a card printed 
about 50 years since, at Canterbury, for the use of a 
Sunday-school in that city, to which is appended the 
following notice of the author, ' The Rev. Edward Per- 
ronet died at Canterbury, January 2, 1792.' " [His dying 
words follow.] 

" This is evidential," as the spiritualists say. But the 
date is vague, and did the card say it was printed at 
Canterbury, or did J. K's friend say that it was? J. K. 
adds that " the copy of c Occasional Verses 7 " " now be- 
fore us was presented by Mr. Perronet himself to the late 
Mrs. Gellatly." But was the book so " autographed by 
the author " ? Or was this only the remembered state- 
ment of " the late Mrs. Gellatly " ? 

(n) In 1892 Dr. Julian's great Dictionary of Hymnol- 
ology appeared. The annotator of this hymn is assured of 

C 39 3 

O N 

"L E E P. 

EMBLtEM of death I as Is it? conch the ?s 
D<wm'3 to contain the GwtrJ anJ tht -7/vsv 
Where ilccp rcclin'd, the // '* sf:v / i/ ** 
Alike to*amVd<Jfyu9ffer'J en Ijecnr* ; 

P.efcrTd alike m that <!rea! hour tn uske, 
2>eftla*d to Hand and each their A'iive tftke. 
Feace ta tlte A^f wblle Judgmens m.^ks the fijUr, 
Ere yet arrai^a'il securing* and accurrt. 
Rals'ii from *lwr bed, to wn,p In ikep o ii>ie, 
Keviv'd sbef gaz-e, aatl errtt>ty a^nc. 
Oh^ fata! ileep ! shat thus aw lt kM to wre, 
"Ho longer afe no longer tft lhai' kuc-A ! 
E'en Arr# * fcretaile of that ;?<v ', 



T'*ie p 

for fia 0u!l death dcmtn.f, 

Wfco cam before His jJf rnent ftand ! 
tsoaJ the mli^htj fall, 



Perronet's authorship. But apparently he had not heard 
of J. K. The only actual proofs he offers are (a) that one 
piece in Occasional Verses is dedicated to the memory 
of Vincent Perronet, who was Edward's father, and others 
" apparently to various members of his family, who are 
indicated by their initials only "; and (b) that the copy 
of Occasional Verses in the British Museum is bound up 
with two poetical pamphlets, one of them bearing Per- 
ronet's signature, while the other " may also be ascribed 
to him with certainty," 

(12) When the writer began to prepare this study he 
examined' the grounds of his own faith in Perronet's au- 
thorship of " All hail." " Is the evidence of it complete 
and satisfying? " he asked himself. He had to acknowl- 
edge that it was not. 

The writer made up his mind to examine his copy of 
Occasional Verses minutely for some further clue of 
authorship. This he did without result up to page 201. 
There he found that the verses in memory of C. P. and 
D. P. were acrostics. The first letter of each line of the 
former, read downward, spelled Charles Perronet, and 
those of the second spelled Damaris Perronet Edward's 
brother and sister. Then the writer knew what further 
to look for, and found it on page 39 ; an acrostic reveal- 
ing Edward Perronet's own name. 

This little discovery seems to settle the matter finally. 
Perronet acknowledged his authorship of the book and 
the hymn in his own way. Doubtless he did not expect 
to wait one hundred and twenty-six years for his ac- 
knowledgement to be discovered. 

We can now see easily enough how things happened 
as they did. Shrubsole was living in the same city of 
Canterbury as Perronet, and was no doubt one of the 


friends to whom Perronet showed or gave a manuscript 
copy of his hymn. Shrubsole liked it and set it to music 
which he sent to The Gospel Magazine for publication. 
And when the remainder of the hymn was asked for he 
turned In his own copy or got one from the author, . 


There was probably no Church of England clergyman 
whom the Wesleys relied on so much as Vincent Perro- 
net, Vicar of Shoreham, in Kent. He was a gentle and 
studious saint, son of a French refugee and retaining the 
French charm of manner. His son Edward, born in 
1721, was brought up in the Church and fully intended 
to enter Its ministry, but, under the influence of the 
Wesleys, became a Methodist traveling preacher. He 
started out at once to accompany Charles Wesley on a 
preaching tour. " He got a deal of abuse thereby, and 
not a little dirt," Charles said, " both which he took 
very patiently." 

Perronet seems to have been a bold and successful 
preacher and a man of undoubted piety. But he was 
Impulsive and restless under the control of the Wesleys, 
and soon began to make trouble for them. Visiting from 
house to house he would criticize them, especially their 
refusal to allow their preachers to administer the sacra- 
ments. He developed an acrid antipathy to the Church 
of England, and in 1756 published a satire in verse, The 
Mitre, ridiculing episcopal government and priestly pre- 
tension. It was a grief to his father and a serious matter 
for the Wesleys. And among them they persuaded Per- 
ronet to suppress it. He must have given away some 
copies, for a few still survive, 


Later he left the Methodists and became a preacher 
in the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. But she, 
too, remonstrated against Ms bitterness toward the 
Church. He left her and became pastor of a small dis- 
senting meeting in Canterbury, where he preached until 
his death on January 8, 1792. He was buried in the 
cloister of the famous cathedral. 

And so closed obscurely just such a career as may be 
worked out by a good man of no commanding gifts, with 
an irascible temper, an impatience of authority, and a 
touch of bitterness that grows with " not being under- 
stood." His hymn is the one achievement of his life. It 
breaks through the crusty manner of an unappreciated 
and disappointed man, and reveals him as one that had 
" such exalted views of the Lord Jesus, and so completely 
enthroned Him in his thoughts and affections." 


1. In The Gospel Magazine the hymn was entitled 
" On the Resurrection. The Lord is King.' 7 Hence the 
opening " All hail " : the risen Lord's salutation on the 
resurrection morning according to Matt. 28:9. And 
the angels were first to proclaim him. But is the hymn 
really an appropriate Easter hymn? 

2. This hymn is a religious song rather than a religious 
poem. Its structure makes it very monotonous to read. 
But its structure makes it also very effective for singing ; 
each verse beginning afresh and mounting to the full- 
chorded refrain. Perhaps no other hymn is quite so 
jubilant and triumphant. It has become very dear to 
the heart of the Church, and, if sung reverently, can 
hardly fail to warm that heart. It is of course possible 


to use it, like firecrackers, for the sake of making a noise 
at a festival. 

3. A strain from Shrubsole's tune (it has long been 
called " Miles Lane 3J ) is carved on his tombstone at 
Bunhill Fields, London. A verse of the hymn is engraved 
on Oliver Holden's tomb in the old Burying Ground at 
Charlestown. In England the hymn has been inseparable 
from Shrubsole's tune. In this country it has been in- 
separable from Holden's. Both tunes are printed in The 
Hymnal revised. Both are a part of the history of the 
hymn ; and having both we are at liberty to choose be- 
tween them. 



1 O God of Bethel, by whose hand 

Thy people still are fed, 
Who through this weary pilgrimage 
Hast all our fathers led, 

2 Our vows, our prayers, we now present 

Before Thy throne of grace; 
God o our fathers, be the God 
Of their succeeding race. 

3 Through each perplexing path of life 

Our wandering footsteps guide 
Give us each day our daily bread, 
And raiment nt provide. 

4 O spread Thy covering wings around 

Till all our wanderings cease, 
And at our Father's loved abode 
Our souls arrive in peace. 

5 Such blessings from Thy gracious hand 

Our humble prayers implore; 
And Thou shalt be our chosen God 
And portion evermore. 

Verses 1-4 by Rev. Philip Doddridge, 1737, recast by Rev. 
John Logan, 1781: verse i, line i, altered, and verse 5 added 
in Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1781 


NOTE: There are three texts of this hymn: 

1. Doddrldge's original text of 173*7 as hereinafter printed. From 
this the hymn went into the Translations and Paraphrases of 1745, 
with trifling changes. This is the first printed text. 

2. The text given by Job Orton in his collection of Doddridge's 
hymns (1755), opening with "O God of Jacob.' 1 The changes in 
J. D. Humphrey's 1839 edition of the hymns may be passed over. 

3. The recast made by the Rev. John Logan, printed (with some 
variances) in his Poems and in the Translations and Paraphrases, 
both of 1781. It is the latter text (given above) that has become 
so familiar. 

This and the other hymns of Dr. Doddridge belong to 
the period of the eighteenth century revival but are 
scarcely of it. They run rather with the stream of hymn 
singing and hymn writing among English Independents, 
of which Dr. Watts was the fountainhead. Hymnologists 
say that Doddridge is one of " the school of Watts." 
They mean that Watts 7 s hymns became so much the pat- 
tern for other hymn writers that he was like a school- 
master giving out specimens of penmanship to be imi- 
tated ; and that Doddridge was one of the imitators. But 
he was head boy in the school, and his hymns came to be 
regarded as a desirable addition even to those of his 

The hymn we are now studying won by its own merits 
a place in the wider spreading movement to allow the 
singing of human hymns. For when that movement 
reached even Psalm-loving Scotland, this was one of the 
" Paraphrases " selected by the General Assembly in 1781 
and recommended to the churches. 


In some " unknown house in the labyrinth of London 
streets " Philip Doddridge was born in the summer of 


1702. It was a humble home and a very sickly 
baby. His earliest recollection was of his mother ex- 
plaining the scenes of Bible history pictured on the blue- 
and- white Dutch tiles lining the fireplace: Eve's apple 
tree with the serpent, Noah at the window of the ark, 
a very large Jonah coming forth from a very small whale, 
Peter crossing the Sea of Galilee in a Dutch three-decker, 
the prodigal son in a periwig, and the rest. She would 
tell him of her father, driven from his Bohemian home 
by religious persecution, and show him the Luther's Bible 
in black stamped leather he brought away beneath the 
peasant clothes he wore ; of his father's father also, one 
of the Church of England clergy ejected in 1662 for con- 
science' sake. 

Both father and mother died while Philip was a child 
at Kingston grammar school. Sent to another school at 
St. Albans, he won the notice of Dr, Samuel Clark, the 
Presbyterian pastor, who befriended him and admitted 
him to the Communion at nineteen. He went up to 
London to seek encouragement toward preparing for the 
ministry. The Duchess of Bedford offered to finance 
him, but only if he would conform to the established 
Church. The dissenting leaders were cold. Dr. Clark 
called him back, and sent him to be trained by John Jen- 
nings, at Kibworth, where he was happy in his books 
and content in his poverty. In 1723 he was qualified to 
preach by the county meeting of ministers, and became 
pastor at out-of-the-way Kibworth, where, he said, " I 
have not so much as a tea table in my whole diocese and 
but one hoop petticoat within the whole circuit " ; but 
where he could spend twelve hours a day in his study. 
Doddridge's chance came at Market Harbor ough ? to 
which he had moved, when the Independents decided to 



set up an academy there and selected him as principal. 
Only twenty-six years old, he consulted Dr. Watts, then 
fifty-four, and thus began a warm friendship with the 
great man. Very shortly he was called to a larger church 
at Northampton. He took his academy with him and 
made it famous; spending the rest of his life there as 
teacher, pastor, and author. 

In Doddridge's time " the dissenting interest " was on 
the down grade. Its heroic age was past: easy days 
brought easy ways and spiritual indifference. Dr. Watts 
and other Nonconformist leaders were as much opposed 
to " enthusiasm " as were the bishops themselves. They 
turned their backs on the revival and scorned the Wesleys 
and Whitefield. The kindly Doddridge, when he got 
to know them better, could not keep it up. In London, 
one day in 1743, he even led in public prayer at White- 
field's Tabernacle. Whereupon Dr. Watts wrote him 
that many of his friends were asking an explanation of 
his " sinking the character of a minister and especially 
of a tutor among the dissenters, so low thereby," When 
later he had Whitefield to preach from his Northampton 
pulpit, a very storm of protest and reproach rained on 
him: all of which only strengthened the stand he 
had taken. He was the first Nonconformist leader to 
hold out a brotherly hand to the great evangelists. 

Doddridge's one aim in all his laborious ministry was 
to deepen the spiritual life, not only among dissenters 
but in general society. To this practical end his many 
books were written. His Rise and Progress of Religion 
in the Soul became something like a religious classic. 
The Family Expositor, covering all the New Testament, 
took twelve years of his life and was greatly esteemed in 
its day. He disliked controversy and liked a theology 


emphasizing the statements of Scripture rather than the 
definitions of the schools. In a controversial age this 
led some to question the straitness of his orthodoxy. 

Nobody ever questioned Ms loving-kindness. 

He was not a great writer and probably not a great 
preacher. He could not stay the decline of dissent even 
in his own parish. But he did good service In many 
ways : the more easily because in spite of bodily weakness 
and consumptive tendencies he had a healthy mind, a 
heart full of God's sunshine, and pleasant ways. Perhaps 
he helped the most simply by being so lovable, for to 
love a good man is a big step in anybody's religious edu- 
cation. Many hearts followed him on his voyage to 
Lisbon in the autumn of 1751, made possible by the 
bounty of Lady Huntingdon and other friends. " I can 
as well go to Heaven from Lisbon as from my own 
study at Northampton/' he told her at parting. The 
study at Northampton is still kept just as he left it, and 
at Lisbon Ms body still lies in the English cemetery, near 
the grave of the great novelist, Henry Fielding. 


Doddridge's " works " gather dust on the shelves ; some 
of Ms hymns are in familiar use. Like those of Davies 
and other eighteenth century preachers they were written 
in the glow of sermon composition to be sung at the 
sermon's close. " O God of Bethel " was to follow a ser- 
mon on " Jacob's Vow," from Genesis 28 .-20-22. During 
Ms life his hymns were more or less handed about in 
manuscript. Four years after his death Ms friend Job 
Orton copied three hundred and seventy of them from 
Ms papers and published them as Hymns founded on 


various texts in the Holy Scriptures. By the late Philip 
Doddridge, D.D. [1755.] Others have been published 
since and some are yet imprinted. In Orton's book this 
hymn begins, " O God of Jacob." The earliest form 
known is that dated "Jan. 16, 1733." * n Doddridge's 
own handwriting, which the present writer has not seen. 
Dr. Julian, who has, gives it thus : 


Oh God of Bethel, by whose Hand 

Thine Israel still is fed 
Who thro' this weary Pilgrimage 

Hast all our Fathers led 


To thee our humble Vows we raise 

To thee address our Prayer 
And in thy kind and faithful Breast 

Deposite all our Care 


If thou thro' each perplexing Path 

Wilt be our constant Guide 
If thou wilt daily Bread supply 

And Raiment wilt provide 

If thou wilt spread thy Shield around 

Till these our wandrings cease 
And at our Father's lov'd Abode 
Our Souls arrive in Peace 

To thee as to our Covenant God 

We'll our whole selves resign 
And count that not our tenth alone 

But all we have is thine. 


So much for Dr. .Doddridge and the hymn as he wrote 
it. Its further study carries us over into Presbyterian 


In our study of "The Lord's. my Shepherd, 111 not 
want," we saw how Calvin's ideal of singing " the Bible 
only 3> conquered Scotland at the Reformation, and made 
Its Church a Psalm singing Church ; how at the time of 
the Westminster Assembly a new version of " The Psalms 
of David in meeter " was adopted ; and how fond Scottish 
hearts became of that " Rous's Version." But as Dr. 
Watts 7 s more evangelical renderings of Psalms and his 
hymns came to be known they caused a certain restless- 
ness and on the part of many ministers a desire for lib- 
erty to sing them or something like them in church. 
Nevertheless the men who made the first proposals to 
change the established usage of the Scottish people must 
have had hopeful temperaments. Time and again when 
a movement " to enlarge the Psalmody " came to the 
surface in the General Assembly it was quietly side- 

The Assembly of 1741 pigeonholed a petition that 
other passages of Scripture in meter be added to the 
Psalms. Next year a persistent presbytery called it up. 
They succeeded In getting a committee appointed to 
gather materials and in putting such pressure on the 
committee that after four years It laid before the As- 
sembly of 1745 a meager collection of forty-five Trans- 
lations and Paraphrases of several passages of Sacred 
Scripture, nineteen of them taken from Dr. Watts. This 
had to go down to the presbyteries for their approval. 
Then followed a contest in which the innovators kept 

TranHations ana 

I . ,f E, It 

.Of fcveral 




the little book for ten years before the General Assembly, 
where they always seemed to be winning, only to be 
baffled by the lovers of the old Psalms in the presbyteries. 
These standfasts saw to it that enough of the presby- 
teries refrained year after year from taking any action, 
until the patience of the innovators was w r orn out and 
their project abandoned. 

Twenty years passed before it was renewed, and six 
more before a new collection of sixty-seven cc para- 
phrases " and five " hymns " was ready to be sent down 
for the presbyteries to report upon. That was in 1781, 
and the Assembly gave the churches leave to sing them 
while the matter was pending. The old tactics were re- 
sumed, and so many presbyteries ignored the new book 
also that no further action could be taken by the Assem- 
bly. But perhaps the standfasts overreached themselves 
this time, since the failure to take final action upon the 
Paraphrases extended indefinitely the permission already 
given to sing them pending such action. In this way the 
little book, whose title page is before us, became the first 
hymn book of Scottish Presbyterianism : it made the first 
breach in the old Psalmody. 

In some parishes bitter feeling and disturbances fol- 
lowed when a minister attempted to have the new Par- 
aphrases sung. There were, however, many ministers 
who never gave them out until their life's end ; and the 
outraged feelings of many plain people have a monument 
in Scottish Bibles still preserved in which the leaves con- 
taining the Paraphrases are carefully pasted down or 
from which they are torn out. But in the end they fairly 
won their place beside the Psalms and became almost 
as dear to the people. 

" God of Bethel ?? is the second of the Paraphrases 


of 1781, but holds the first place in Scottish hearts. In 
illustration of this it is worth while to quote a charming 
letter which Samuel R. Crockett, the novelist, sent in 
response to Mr. W. T. Stead's inquiry for " the hymns 
that have helped " him : 

" One hymn I love, and that (to be Irish) is not a 
hymn, but what in our country is mystically termed a 
paraphrase.' It is that which, when sung to the tune 
of St. Paul's, makes men and women square themselves 
and stand erect to sing, like an army that goes gladly to 
battle: O God of Bethel ' 

" I wish I could quote it all. Of course it is in vain 
to try to tell what these songs of c Christ's ain Kirk and 
Covenant ' are to us who sucked them in with our mother- 
milk and heard them crooned for cradle songs to Coles- 
hill ' and c Kilmarnock.' But be assured that whatever 
new songs are written, noble and sincere, there will al- 
ways be a number who will walk in the old paths, and, 
by choice, seek for their ' helping ' (about which they 
will mostly keep silence) from the songs their fathers 

But the use of this paraphrase is not confined to Scot- 
land. It has crossed the border and become as familiar 
in England as in Scotland. It was sung in Westminster 
Abbey in 1874 at the public funeral of David Livingstone, 
the great African missionary and traveler, and again in 
1879 at the funeral of Lord Lawrence, Governor-General 
of India. And the biographers of both men refer to the 
impressiveness of the simple words, as sung to the music 
of Tallis. In this country and in Canada the Scottish 
immigration would of itself insure a widespread use of 
the paraphrase. 



1. No doubt the quaint title, Translations and Para- 
phrases, was originally intended to conciliate those still 
holding to the Calvinistic position that the inspired words 
of Scripture should furnish the only " subject-matter of 
praise." And yet it is hard to believe that such camou- 
flage could deceive a people so keen-eyed in searching 
the Scripture. " God of Bethel," for instance. It cer- 
tainly is not a " translation " of the passage in Genesis 
on which it is based ; but could it in any sense be regarded 
as a "paraphrase" of that passage, or is it simply a 
free human hymn ? 

2. The committee who prepared the Translations and 
Paraphrases of 1745 procured a copy of Doddridge's 
hymn in manuscript (it had not appeared in print as 
yet), and they adopted it with very few alterations. The 
committee of 1781, on the other hand, made a great 
many, as may be seen by comparing their text (The 
Hymnal revised, No. 533) with the original as quoted 
above. These amendments were doubtless made by the 
Rev. John Logan, a member of the committee with a deft 
hand at verse-making but of questionable character, to 
say the least. Let us hope it was only an exaggerated 
sense of the value of his improvements of Doddridge's 
hymn that led him to print this paraphrase as his own 
among Ms Poems of that same year, 1781. 

Modern feeling runs strongly against the practice of 
" tinkering " hymns, as was done so freely by the com- 
mittee of 1781, and in favor of singing them as their 
authors wrote them. In the case of this paraphrase a 
modern editor of a hymn book has to choose whether to 


adopt the 1781 text or to go back to the original. If lie 
is a good editor he will probably say (i) that Logan's 
text is in many ways better than Doddridge's; (2) that 
the hymn as Doddridge wrote it is practically unknown, 
and, as Logan altered it, widely loved; and, if he is 
editing a Presbyterian hymn book, he will probably add 
(3) that the form in which the hymn appeared in the 
Paraphrases of 1781 is the accepted text of what must 
be recognized as one of the historic hymns of Presby- 

3. In Scotland, " O God of Bethel " is still sung to 
" St. Paul," of which Mr. Crockett wrote, a tune that 
dates from 1749; sometimes to the older tune known 
there as " French " and here as " Dundee." In West- 
minster Abbey it is still sung to the sixteenth century 
tune known as " Tallis's Ordinal " or simply " Tallis." 
" Balerma," to which the words are set in The Hymnal 
revised, is also Scottish, an arrangement dating only from 
1833, and is probably more acceptable to American con- 
gregations than the older and graver tunes. 

4. Of the thirteen hymns of Doddridge in The Hymnal 
revised, " Hark the glad sound ! the Saviour comes " and 
" Jesus, I love Thy charming Name " seem to have most 
of his vitality ; " How gentle God's commands," and " See 
Israel's gentle Shepherd stand " most of his tenderness. 
Queen Victoria's husband thought so much of " happy 
day that fixed my choice " that he had it sung at the 
confirmations of their children. In this country it has 
become associated (perhaps indissolubly) with an old- 
time camp-meeting melody, carrying a jingle-like re- 
frain, with which many good people would not care to 
express their praise. Toward the close of the eighteenth 
century, by some agency as yet undiscovered, <c My 


God, and is Thy table spread " got itself bound up with 
a few other hymns at the end of Church of England 
prayer books, and it has been a favorite Communion 
hymn ever since. To the writer it seems more appropri- 
ate to those who stay away from the sacrament. 

And there are a few more of the thirteen that raise 
in his mind a question whether they may not have out- 
lived their usefulness. Each generation develops its own 
natural religious idiom, and it may be that Doddridge's 
" Lord of the Sabbath, hear us pray " and " Grace I 'tis 
a charming sound/' came more naturally from the lips 
of his generation than they do from ours. 



1 Hail to the Lord's Anointed, 

Great David's greater Son! 
Hail, in the time appointed, 

His reign on earth begun! 
He comes to break oppression 

To set the captive free, 
To take away transgression, 

And rule in equity. 

2 He shall come down like showers 

Upon the fruitful earth; 
And love, joy, hope, like flowers, 

Spring in His path to birth; 
Before Him on the mountains 

Shall peace, the herald, go, 
And righteousness, in fountains, 

From hill to valley flow. 

3 Kings shall fall down before Him, 

And gold and incense bring; 
All nations shall adore Him, 

His praise all people sing; 
For Him shall prayer unceasing 

And daily vows ascend; 
His kingdom still increasing, 

A kingdom without end. 

4 O*er every foe victorious, 

He on His throne shall rest, 
From age to age more glorious, 
All blessing and all-blest: 


The tide of time shall never 

His covenant remove, 
His name shall stand for ever, 

That Name to us is Love. 

James Montgomery's version ol the Seventy-second Psalm, 
written in 1821 

NOTE: The above test is an abridgment of the original, which was 
in eight verses as printed in Songs of Zion, 1822. 

In taking up this hymn of James Montgomery we pass 
over into the nineteenth century. And so we leave behind 
us the eighteenth century hymns of Watts and his 
followers on the one side and of the Wesleys and other 
singers of the great revival on the other. 

It was of course from those eighteenth century stores 
that our American Churches, whether Evangelical or Uni- 
tarian, had to draw as they began to make hymn books 
of their own. Now the dominant note of those hymns is 
personal piety. It is interesting and in a way touching 
to remember how the heart of our witty Boston poet, 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, a rather radical Unitarian, 
turned back in his old age to those eighteenth century 
hymns. He perceived In them " the old ring of saintli- 
ness " and a virility he missed in modern hymns. " When 
I turn to the hymn book, and when one strikes my eye, 
I cover the name at the bottom and guess. It is," he 
said, "almost invariably by Watts or Wesley; after 
them there are very few which are good for much." 

Perhaps the Unitarian hymn book which the poet had 
in his gallery pew at King's Chapel failed to do justice to 
the later hymn writers, choosing those that gave out the 
ring of modern liberalism rather than "the old ring 
of saintliness." However that may be, most Christians 
will not believe that deep and sincere piety passed away 


with the eighteenth century or that the true succession 
of God's singing men has been broken off. 

When the nineteenth century dawned, the voices of 
all the great hymn writers had passed into silence. Watts 
and Doddridge had been dead for the half, Toplady for 
the quarter of a century. The Wesleys had been dead 
for a decade; Cowper had just died; only Newton sur- 
vived in the weakness of old age. But with the early 


years of the new century a new hymn writer appeared, 
worthy to take his place In the great succession. This 
was James Montgomery, a Moravian layman; a poor 
boy with nothing to depend on but his literary talent ; a 
forward-looking man who kept abreast of the marked 
religious progress of his time ; a poet who could not only 
sing over the old songs of Zion with a fresh and clear 
voice but could also furnish new songs for new occasions. 



Shortly after writing " Children of the heavenly King," 
John Cennick started a little Moravian settlement in the 
county of Antrim, Ireland. Among the neighbors who 
joined it was John Montgomery, apparently a laborer, 
who for some gift or grace was made a Moravian 
preacher and sent over to Irvine on the Scottish coast. 
There, on November 4, 1771, in a cottage adjoining the 
Moravian chapel, his son James was born ; "narrowly es- 
caping," he used afterwards to say, " being an Irishman." 
When the parents went as missionaries to the West 
Indies they left the boy at the Moravian school at Ful- 
neck, near Leeds, and took with them the hope that he 
would prepare himself for the ministry. 

It was a very severe school, as closely guarded against 
the world as a convent, with most of the world's litera- 
ture forbidden. Dr. Blair's poem, " The Grave," was an 
exception, and hearing it read started Montgomery's po- 
etic impulse, just as the quaint Moravian hymn book in 
constant use started his lifelong interest in hymns. He 
neglected the prescribed studies and spent his time in 
composing epics in Milton's manner. The Brethren gave 
Mm up as a candidate for the ministry and put him in a 
baker's shop as shopboy. 

The lad became very unhappy there and at the age of 
sixteen ran away, to begin the world with three shillings 
and six and a bundle of poems in his pocket. It was 
characteristic of him that he went off in his old suit, 
leaving behind him a new one which his master had given 
him, and which he did not think he had earned. And it 
was no doubt humiliating to him that he had to ask his 


old teachers at Fulneck for a recommendation before he 
could get even a situation in another shop in the village 
of Wath. This also he left after a year and went up to 
London with a larger bundle of poems in his pocket and 
the vision of a publisher ready to print them. When that 
hope failed, he went back to his situation at Wath. 

One day in his twenty-second year he saw in a radical 
newspaper, The Sheffield Register, its publisher's adver- 
tisement for a clerk. He answered it in person and se- 
cured the place. He began to exercise his literary talent 
in the paper, and, when its proprietor and editor had to 
flee from political prosecution, a fellow townsman found 
the means of carrying it on, and put Montgomery in 
charge. It was an exciting time in politics, and a critical 
situation for the young editor of a suspected sheet. The 
skies were lurid with reflections of the flames of the 
French Revolution. Sheffield was in the thickest of the 
conflict between the aristocrats and the Jacobins. And 
amidst all the clamor for the rights of man, the govern- 
ment was insistently trying to raise recruits for the ex- 
pected war with France. 

The ardent young editor's sympathies were with the 
democrats, and he was eager for parliamentary reform, 
to say the least. Almost at once he was arrested for 
printing a seditious ballad and put in jail for three 
months. A few months after his release he was charged 
with seditious libel for an account he printed of the man- 
ner in which the military commander had put down a 
riot in the streets, was found guilty, and imprisoned once 
more for six months. He spent his enforced leisure in 
jail in composing poetry, afterwards printed as Prison 
Amusements. On coming out he resumed his editorship 
and kept it up until 1825. But at heart he was neither 


a politician nor a newspaper man, but a poet, and 
through these years he gave more thought to poetry than 
to making the most of his newspaper. It was his old Ful- 
neck School scheme of life over again, and not the way 
that leads to fortune; but Montgomery was unmarried 
and free to follow the gleam. 

As calmer times came, Montgomery's own opinions be- 
came mellower, and his increasing poetic reputation re- 
flected luster on Sheffield. The simple goodness of the 
man and his unfailing helpfulness in every worthy cause 
conquered all hearts. He became recognized as the first 
citizen of the town, and the government that had twice 
jailed him put him on its pension list. And so he spent 
his last years contentedly and helpfully, esteemed by all 
as the best of men and by many as a great poet. He had 
not been without his struggles to gain a place, but he 
bore no grudge against life, except perhaps at the persis- 
tency with which many people confused his personality 
with that of a namesake whose poetry he did not admire. 

Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler, of Brooklyn, visited him in 
1842. " A short, brisk, cheery old man, then seventy-one, 
came into the room with a spry step. He wore a suit 
of black, with old-fashioned dress ruffles, and a high 
cravat that looked as if it choked him. His complexion 
was fresh, and snowy hair crowned a noble forehead. We 
chatted about America, and I told him that in all our 
churches his hymns were great favorites. I unfortu- 
nately happened to mention that when lately in Glasgow 
I had gone to hear the Rev. Robert Montgomery, the au- 
thor of ' Satan/ and other poems. It was this i Satan 
Montgomery ' whom Macaulay had scalped with merci- 
less criticism in the Edinburgh Review. The mention of 
his name aroused the old poet's ire. ' Would you believe 


it ? ' he exclaimed indignantly, * they attribute some of 
that fellow's performances to rne, and lately a lady wrote 
me in reference to one of his most pompous poems, and 
said it was the best that I had ever written ! ' " 

The poet (James, not Robert) had arranged to spend 
the Easter of 1854 with his brethren at Fulneck, was un- 
able to go, and on April 30 was dead. He was buried 
with such a funeral as Sheffield had never seen, and in 
the years following two of his friends with great de- 
votion but less judgment published a biography extend- 
ing to no less than seven volumes. 


It is just as well that a popular poet should die before 
his reputation begins to fade, and Montgomery's had 
lasted a good while. The first of his poems to catch the 
public ear was his Wanderer in Switzerland of 1806, of 
which three editions were called for. Volume after vol- 
ume followed, the series closing with the long poem of 
The Pelican Island of 1826 and the short pieces collected 
in The Poet's Portfolio of 1835. They all appealed to a 
large public, mostly the religious public who valued such 
pure sentiments in the vesture of verse they could read 
and understand. But the longer poems have found no 
place in English literature, and the anthologies preserve 
none of Ms lyrics except a few hymns. And this is just 
as it ought to be. In his poetic work Montgomery mis- 
took the easy flow of rhetorical or sentimental verse for 
poetry. But his hymn writing was a thing apart, and in 
the best of his hymns he made no mistake of any kind. 
He understood exactly what to aim at, and he is one of 
" the little masters " in the art of hymn writing. 


As early as 1822 Montgomery gathered his versions of 
Psalms, including the one now before us, in his Songs of 
Zion. He printed many of his hymns in a collection 
called The Christian Psalmist, in 1825; and at the last 
gathered up the hymns of a lifetime in the Original 
Hymns of 1853. He wrote four hundred in all, of which 
not less than a hundred have had a part in the worship 
of some branch of the Church. 


Many have regarded this as the best of all, and at the 
present time it is found in more hymn books than any- 
thing else of Montgomery's. And It has something of a 

It was written to be sung at a Christmas festival of 
1821, at one of the Moravian settlements in England, 
Fulneck probably. Which reminds us that Montgomery 
was a Moravian all his life, though he did not formally 
resume his birthright membership until his forty-third 
birthday. In January, 1822, he inclosed a copy of the 
hymn in a letter to a South Sea missionary, suggesting 
that the isles afar are to share the glories of the Messianic 
reign. In April of that year it was recited by the author 
at a great Methodist missionary meeting at Liverpool, 
under rather striking circumstances. The lights went 
out while he was speaking, a crash resounded from a seat 
back broken by the crowd, and it was uncertain what 
might happen. The chairman called out, " There is still 
light within." The speaker took his cue, proceeded not 
without agitation, " concluding with the full blaze of the 
renovated illumination " by reciting his " Hail to the 
Lord's Anointed." And we can imagine that it was not 


spoken or heard without a perceptible thrill. Dr. Adam 
Clarke, who presided at the meeting, was so impressed 
that he secured a copy, and in 1822 appended the hymn 
to his notes on the Seventy-second Psalm in his now 
famous Commentary on the Bible, with a special note 
calling attention to its excellence; which no doubt con- 
tributed a good deal to the hymn's success. 


i. In Montgomery's Original Hymns this bears the 

"The Reign of Christ on Earth. -Ps. Ixxii," 

and it is of course a free rendering of that Psalm. The 
Seventy-second Psalm is the vision of a great king who 
brings righteousness and peace, redresses human wrongs, 
and extends his rule to the world's end. The Old Testa- 
ment seems to apply the Psalm to Solomon's reign, and 
the New Testament does not apply it to Christ as Mes- 
sianic King. The Early Church did, and chose it as the 
special Psalm for the Epiphany season. Now just what 
did they mean by that ? 

The Epiphany (January 6) follows so soon after 
Christmas that many people think of them as one. It 
really commemorates the visit of the Wise Men, and 
when the Church put the Psalm in that connection it 
meant to say that it foretells the homage of the nations 
to Christ, of which the visit of the Wise Men was the 
beginning. What the Church did then was to choose the 
Seventy-second as its special foreign missionary Psalm. 

The nineteenth century Churches have done just the 
same thing with Montgomery's rendering of that Psalm. 



They have always regarded it as a foreign missionary 
hymn, a trumpet call to advance toward the conquest of 
the world, a blessed assurance of victory. We may be 
quite sure that the author so intended it. He wrote in 
the early glow of the new zeal for foreign missions that 
dawned on England, and which so moved his heart. Is 
the Church justified in making this hymn a song of the 
final triumph of foreign missions ; and just what bearing 
upon this question has the old saying, " My kingdom is 
not of this w r orld? " 

2. There are no differences of text in this hymn as 
printed in Songs of Zion in 1822 and in Original Hymns, 
thirty-one years later. The fact is worth noting, as a 
number of editors have made changes, especially in the 
last line. But as Montgomery printed the hymn, there 
were eight verses of eight lines each ; not too many for a 
proper presentation of the Psalm but too many for a con- 
gregational hymn book; so that each editor has to de- 
cide on his own abridgment. That in The Hymnal re- 
vised is perhaps as effective as any; the best of the 
omitted verses, the original second, is rather a loss : 

He comes with succour speedy, 

To those who suffer wrong; 
To help the poor and needy, 

And bid the weak be strong: 
To give them songs for sighing, 

Their darkness turn to light; 
Whose souls, condemn'd and dying, 

Were precious in His sight. 

3. What is the meaning of " For Him shall prayer 

unceasing," in the third verse, regarded by some as an 
improper expression? Does the fact that the Seventy- 


second Psalm is itself a prayer for the king bear upon the 
questioned propriety of the expression ? 

4. Another and equally well-known missionary hymn, 
" Jesus shall reign where'er the sun," is also a version of 
the Seventy-second Psalm, written in Dr. Watts's very 
best style. And it may be interesting to compare the 
work of two excellent hymn writers dealing with the same 
subject matter a century apart. Dr. Watts would prob- 
ably have regarded Montgomery's meter and rhythm as 
a bit jaunty for a hymn. 



1 Just as I am, without one plea 

But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come. 

2 Just as I am, and waiting not 
To rid my soul of one dark blot, 

To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
O Lamb of God, I come. 

3 Just as I am, though tossed about 
With many a conflict, many a doubt, 

Fightings and fears within, without, 
O Lamb of God, I come. 

4 Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; 
Sight, riches, healing of the mind, 
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find, 

O Lamb of God, I come. 

5 Just as I am! Thou wilt receive, 

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; 
Because Thy promise I believe, 
O Lamb of God, I come. 

6 Just as I am! Thy love unknown 
Has broken every barrier down; 
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, 

O Lamb of God, I come. 

Charlotte Elliott, circa 1834 


NOTE: The text is taken from the 1841 edition of The Invalid's 
Hymn Book. The only changes are (i) In punctuation: by elim- 
inating an exclamation point at the end of each verse; and also 
dashes, the position and number of which vary in Miss Elliott's 
printings of her hymn. Her final use of them was to make a 
light parenthesis of all between " Just as I am " and " O Lamb of 
God " : in verse i for example, " Just as I am " . . . . " Come to 
Thee ." (2) In text: In 1841 verse 3, 1. 3, reads, "Fightings 
within, and fears without," within quotation marks. Quoting, no 
doubt, John Newton (from memory) and discovering verbal in- 
accuracy, she changed the line to read (as in Hours of Sorrow, 
ed. 1849, ano ^ her collected poems) as given above. 

In these studies we have had occasion more than once 
to refer to the Evangelical Party in the Church of Eng- 
land. It was the succession of clergy and laity who con- 
tinued to believe the doctrines of the Evangelical or 
Calvinistic side of the eighteenth century revival, and 
who carried out its principles in their parish work, as 
far as they could. That Evangelical succession in the 
Church of England has never failed yet. Its character- 
istic might be expressed broadly by saying that it puts 
the gospel first and the Church second, so that it is gen- 
erally called the Low Church Party. 

There never was anybody more directly in the line 
of that succession than Miss Charlotte Elliott, the 
author of " Just as I am." It was her heritage from a 
line of Evangelical clergymen ; she was born into a home 
that was the center of a prominent Evangelical circle; 
she was nurtured in the doctrines not only by her parents 
but by an uncle and two brothers who were Evangelical 
clergymen ; and when she began to write hymns she took 
her place at once in the succession of Evangelical hymn 
writers, after Toplady and Newton and Cowper. Her 
hymn, " Just as I am," is a clear expression of what the 


Evangelical Party believed as to the doctrine of salva- 
tion, and what It stood for as opposing High Church or 
Broad Church doctrines. She thought of the Church 
simply as "The Church of pardoned sinners/' and it 
was a sorrow to her to see one and another friend or 
relative turn to what we call High Church views but 
which she used to characterize as " Puseyite errors." 


Charlotte Elliott's parents were gentlefolk in very 
comfortable circumstances, who had homes at Clapham 
and Brighton, and she was born at Brighton, March 17, 
1789. From such memorials of her secluded life as have 
been printed, one gathers that she had been more or less 
of an invalid from quite early years, but that there was 
a short period when she could take her part in such social 
life as the Evangelical principles of that time allowed. 
In 1821 she had a distressing illness from which there 
seems to have been no real recovery, though for some 
years at least the summers brought enough relief to per- 
mit of easy traveling and visits to friends. 

In 1822 she fell under the influence of Dr. Caesar 
Malan, a pastor from Geneva, while her spirit was tossed 
about with the "fightings and fears within, without" 
so natural to her condition and prospects ; and under his 
ministries of healing her faith took a firmer grip and her 
heart found peace. It was well indeed : how else could 
she have borne so nobly what was before her, fifty years 
of invalidism, with much suffering and frequent periods 
of utter prostration and helplessness ? 

The printed memorials of Miss Elliott deal very 
frankly with her spiritual secrets, but do not, so far as 



the writer has observed, disclose the nature of the phys- 
ical ailment from which she suffered. Hers was the day 
when gentle womanhood was veiled in " delicacy/' and 
doubtless any explanation of her bodily trouble would 
have been regarded as indelicate. It does not matter now, 
except to students of the reactions of body and spirit. 
What matters are those fifty years of patience and even 
of service. 

It has been objected against Miss Elliott's familiar 
hymn, " My God and Father, while I stray," with its re- 
frain, " Thy will be done/' that its acceptance of God's 
will for our lives is too passive, that it stops with resig- 
nation and does not go forward to cooperation. If the 
objection is just, and perhaps it is, then the hymn fails 
to express her own ideal and practice. For the ideal of 
life which this elect lady set up in her heart included 
not only a purpose to glorify God by her patience and 
pluck but also to make use of such gifts of service as 
she had ; especially a literary gift which in girlhood had 
expressed itself in humorous verse, but now in religious 
poetry and hymns of a very tender and often beautiful 

We do not know how soon she began to exercise her 
talent, A number of her hymns appear in a collection 
her brother printed In 1835. Her sister says it was a 
correspondent, the Rev. Hugh White, who set her the 
congenial task of rearranging a little collection of hymns 
for the sick room made by a Miss Kiernan, of Dublin, 
during her last illness in 1834. To this, published as The 
Invalid's Hymn Book, Miss Elliott contributed in all 
more than a hundred of her own composition. The little 
book was warmly welcomed and often reprinted. It was 
followed in 1836 by her Hours of Sorrow, from a presen- 




tation copy of which the autograph note here reproduced 
is taken ; by Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week 
in 1839; and after a long interval, by Thoughts in verse 
on sacred Subjects in 1869. Her own hours of sorrow 
ceased at Brighton on September 22, 1871. 

She had indeed learned in suffering what she taught in 
song. All the more welcome, therefore, are the glimpses 
we catch in her letters of the compensations she herself 
found in her hymn writing, the human pleasure of suc- 
cess and the spiritual satisfaction of doing good : " It 
will be a real delight to me to send you a copy of the 
Invalid's Hymn Book. I have just had a copy bound for 
dear Queen Adelaide, and shall be much pleased if I find 
she likes it." And this, a year later : " I have now before 
me a few supplemental hymns for the third edition of 
the Invalid's Hymn Book, which I have just corrected, 
and of which the last has sold so quickly. The fifth edi- 
tion of the Week's Hymns is now all sold ; and Seeley tells 
me the Hours of Sorrow sell well, so that I feel as if I 
ought to strive to finish and continue these little works 
L which are given me to do.' " 


The annals of a sick room are obscure, and in Miss 
Elliott's case it is not always easy to get the date of the 
writing or even of the first publication of a given hymn. 
It is so with the one before us, of which no manuscript 
is known to exist. Most books that deal with it repeat 
the story that connects it with the ministrations of Dr. 
Malan to Miss Elliott in 1822. They even lay it out on 
the precise lines of a responsive service. The pastor ex- 
horts the invalid to come to Christ. She answers, " How 


can I come? " He tells her, " Come just as you are "; 
and she responds, " Just as I am, without one plea." For 
the truth of all this there seems to be no evidence what- 
ever, and no amount of repetition adds anything to its 
veracity. Truth indeed is a shy bird, and many good 
sportsmen fail to bag it. 

The Rev. Handley C. G. Moule, afterwards Bishop of 
Durham, printed in The Record of October 16, 1897, the 
" true history " of the hymn, of which he said, " as Miss 
Elliott's nephew by marriage I happen to know the pre- 
cise circumstances of its composition." The bishop 
stamps as " inaccurate " the stories that connect the 
hymn in any way with her conversion and does not think 
she could point to any early crisis of conversion. He al- 
ludes to the spiritual comfort Dr. Malan brought her, 
and goes on : 

" But ill health still beset her ... it often caused 
her the peculiar pain of a seeming uselessness in her life 
while the circle round her was full of unresting service- 
ableness for God. Such a time of trial marked the year 
1834, when she was forty-five years old, and living in 
Westfield Lodge, Brighton. . . . Her brother, the Rev. 
H. V. Elliott, had not long before conceived the plan of 
St. Mary's Hall, at Brighton a school designed to give, 
at nominal cost, a high education to the daughters of 
clergymen. ... In aid of St. Mary's Hall there was to 
be held a bazaar. . . . Westfield Lodge was all astir; 
every member of the large circle was occupied morning 
and night in the preparations, with the one exception of 
the ailing sister Charlotte as full of eager interest as 
any of them, but physically fit for nothing. The night 
before the bazaar she was kept wakeful by distressing 
thoughts of her apparent uselessness ; and these thoughts 


passed by a transition easy to imagine into a spir- 
itual conflict, till she questioned the reality of her whole 
spiritual life, and wondered whether it were anything 
better than an illusion of the emotions, an illusion ready 
to be sorrowfully dissolved. 

" The next day, the busy day of the bazaar, she lay 
upon her sofa. . . . The troubles of the night came back 
upon her with such force that she felt they must be met 
and conquered in the grace of God. She gathered up in 
her soul the great certainties, not of her emotions, but 
of her salvation : her Lord, his power, his promise. And 
taking pen and paper from the table she deliberately set 
down in writing, for her own comfort, < the formulae of 
her faith. 3 Hers was a heart which always tended to 
express its depths in verse. So in verse she restated to 
herself the gospel of pardon, peace, and heaven. ' Prob- 
ably without difficulty or long pause ' she wrote the 
hymn. . 1 . 

"As the day wore on, her sister-in-law, Mrs. H. V. 
Elliott, came in to see her, and bring news of the 
work. She read the hymn, and asked (she well might) 
for a copy. So it first stole out from that quiet room 
into the world." 

With this story of the hymn agrees in all particulars 
an account furnished about 1902 to Mr. Francis A. Jones 
by " Mrs. Synge, a niece of the authoress." And it is 
interesting to note that the title-pages of the various 
editions of Miss Elliott's Hymns for a Week bear the 
inscription: "Sold for the benefit of St. Mary's Hall, 

Bishop Moule says the hymn was written in 1834, 
and nobody is in a position to question that date. But 
the time and place of its first printing are equally inter- 


esting, and on these points hie is not convincing. He 
says it appeared in the 1834 edition of The Invalid's 
Hymn Book; and that " in 1835 & was printed, unknown 
to the writer and without her name, as a leaflet; one of 
the first copies was given to her by a friend with the 
words, c I am sure this will please you.' " Dr. Julian 
a high authority, writing with the 1834 book before him, 
says the hymn is not there, and was first printed in the 
edition of 1836. Dr. Telford, a careful student of Wes- 
leyan hymns, remarks that the hymn was printed a 
second time in 1836 in Miss Elliott's Hours of Sorrow; 
but it is not found in the writer's copy of that date. 
Finally, the writer's Canadian friend, James Edmund 
Jones, Esq., who published a carefully annotated edition 
of The Book of Common Praise in 1909, says there that 
" Just as I am " is not in The Invalid's Hymn Book of 
1836, but in the edition of 1841 for the first time. All 
that the present writer can contribute at first hand to 
this hotchpotch is to say that the earliest printing of the 
hymn he has seen with his own eyes is in the 1841 edition 
of The Invalid's Hymn Book. 

Whatever may be the exact date of publication, it 
marks the beginning of a wide circulation, of a wonderful 
career of usefulness. The Rev. Mr. Elliott (he who 
founded St. Mary's Hall) thought his sister had done 
more by a single hymn than he had accomplished " in 
the course of a long ministry." There is hardly an 
evangelist without some tale to tell illustrating the 
power of this hymn. Some such testimonies reached the 
authoress herself. Probably the one that pleased her 
most was the grateful letter from the husband of Dora 
Wordsworth, the " one and matchless daughter " of the 
great poet. " Now my hymn," lie reports that sufferer 


as saying every morning of the last two months of her 
life ; " and she would often and often repeat it after me, 
line for line, many times in the day and night. I do 
not think Mr. Wordsworth could bear to have it repeated 
in his presence, but he is not the less sensible of the 
solace It gave Ms one and matchless daughter." 


i. It Is interesting to find two evangelical-hearted 
bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church praising this 
hymn in practically identical terms as shrining the heart 
of Christ's gospel. Bishop Stevens of Pennsylvania, 
writing a preface for an American reprint of Hymns for 
a Week, says of it: "That hymn is the metrical com- 
pendium of the Gospel. It is so simple that a child can 
understand it, so truthful that the heart taught of the 
Spirit Instinctively approves it, so fervent that the soul 
is warmed into glowing ardor by its burning words, so 
grand and comprehensive that the departing saint de- 
lights to use it as he commits his blood-washed soul into 
the hands of his faithful Creator." Bishop Mcllvaine 
of Ohio tells us that in 1860 he resumed a custom of 
gathering the clergy around the chancel, at the close of 
the annual Convention, for some parting words, a hymn 
and extempore prayer. " I had chosen [ c Just as I am '] 
to be sung and had it printed on cards; and I have 
adopted it for all time to come, as long as I shall be here, 
as my hymn, always to be sung on such occasions, and 
always to the same tune. That hymn contains my relig- 
ion, my theology, my hope. It has been my ministry 
to preach just what it contains. In health it expresses 
all my refuge ; in death I desire that I may know noth- 


ing else, for support and consolation, but what it con- 
tains. When I am gone, I wish to be remembered in 
association with that hymn. 7 ' 

In Miss Elliott's books the hymn was printed beneath 
the text, " Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast 
out/' and it is to be studied in relation to that text. It 
may be worth while to make an analysis of the hymn, to 
see just what is added verse by verse as to the terms of 
the gospel. That done, one would be in a position to 
estimate a seventh verse added afterwards by the author- 
ess, as found in the writer's copy of the 1849 edition of 
Hours of Sorrow: 

Just as I am of that free love, 
" The breadth, length, depth, and height " to prove, 
Here for a season, then above 
Lamb of God, I cornel 

2. There are some striking phrases in the hymn. Prin- 
cipal Alexander Whyte, who liked to lecture on it, used 
to dwell on the opening " Just as I am," as a stroke of 
evangelical genius. " A better selected word is not in 
all the world." But why? He also contrasted the com- 
ing for " healing of the mind " with Macbeth's " Canst 
thou not minister to a mind diseas'd? " (Act v, 
scene iii). 

The line, 

"Fightings and fears within, without," 

has a parallel in a good many other hymns. We have 
noted : 

Wars without, and Fights within. John. Cennick, 1741. 
Fightings without, and fears within. John Newton, 1779, 
By war without, and fears within. John Newton, 1770. 
Foes without and fears within. J. D. Burns, 1857. 
Fightings without, and fears each day within. H. Bonar, 1879. 


Are these writers quoting from one another, or is 
there some text of Scripture appropriated by each in 

3. Of the two tunes to these words in The Hymnal 
revised, Bradbury's appeared in The Mendelssohn Col- 
lection of tunes, edited by Thomas Hastings and himself 
in 1849. Bradbury was a pupil of Lowell Mason, and 
his tunes mark the transition from Mason's simple but 
dignified music to the livelier " gospel hymns " that fol- 
lowed. He " won boundless popularity for light tunes in 
the Sunday schools." Few of his church tunes survive. 

Familiar as is the association of his " Woodworth " 
with " Just as I am/ 7 many will think such words worthy 
of a better tune. Whether Sir Joseph Barnby has fur- 
nished it in his setting is open to debate. He was a 
much more accomplished musician than Bradbury , with 
a lovely gift for melody, and greatly under the influence 
of Gounod. Many of his tunes are in the four-part-song 
style and seemed effeminate to lovers of solid old Psalm 

The number of good tunes adapted to the peculiar 
meter of " Just as I am " is rather limited ; but a repe- 
tition of the final " I come " transfers the hymn to the 
long-meter class, and once there, the choice of tunes be- 
comes almost boundless. 



T I heard the voice o Jesus say, 

" Come unto Me and rest; 
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down 

Thy head upon My breast." 
I came to Jesus as I was, 

Weary and worn and sad, 
I found in Him a resting-place, 

And He has made me glad. 

2 I heard the voice of Jesus say, 

" Behold, I freely give 
The living water; thirsty one, 

Stoop down and drink, and live." 
I came to Jesus, and I drank 

Of that life-giving stream; 
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, 

And now I live in Him. 

3 I heard the voice of Jesus say, 

" I am this dark world's Light ; 
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, 

And all thy day be bright." 
I looked to Jesus, and I found 

In Him my Star, my Sun; 
And in that light of life I'll walk, 

Till traveling days are done. 

Rev. Horatius Bonar, 1846 

NOTE: The text is taken from Hymns of Faith and Hope (the 
first series), where it bears the title, " The Voice from Galilee." The 
quotation marks indicating the words of Christ are not given there? 
and for " quenched " the reading is " quench'd." 



One sunny morning in the summer of 1887 the writer 
was making a call upon the Rev. Dr. William G. Blaikie 
at his home in the city of Edinburgh. In the course of 
it Dr. Blaikie drew him to the front window, and, point- 


ing to a figure on the opposite pavement, said, " That 
is Horatius Bonar " ; adding, " I thought you would like 
to see him," or some words to that effect. It was indeed 
a group rather than a figure to which Dr. Blaikie pointed. 
In the center was a venerable man in clerical black, 


bowed down with years and tottering in infirmity, with an 
arm thrown across the shoulders of an attendant on 
either side, who had apparently no easy task to keep 
him upon his feet. And this central figure, with the 
large frame and head, and the white hair and whiskers 
around the fresh skin of the face, having even in extreme 
weakness that look of nobility which seems the peculiar 
characteristic of the Scottish type of old age this 
venerable figure was Horatius Bonar, the author of " I 
heard the voice of Jesus say," and of many another hymn 
familiar in our churches. 


When one recalls the fact that his hymn, " I lay my 
sins on Jesus," was written before 1837, what could be 
less surprising than finding the Bonar of 1887 venerable 
and broken? He was then in the last years of a long 
life. His latest appearance in public was in the follow- 
ing April, although he lingered here until the thirty- 
first of July, 1889. Born December 19, 1808, in Edin- 
burgh, where his father was second solicitor of Excise 
and a ruling elder of the Church of Scotland, the out- 
ward course of his life was peculiarly quiet and unevent- 
ful. Its one striking event was his secession from the 
established Church of Scotland. He had finished Ms 
studies at the University of Edinburgh, had gone into 
the ministry, and been ordained as minister of the North 
Parish in the border town of Kelso. Just then there 
was a good deal of unrest throughout the Church, caused 
by the action of " patrons " who held as their property 
the right of naming the parish minister, and only too 
often put in their nominee against the vehement protest 


of the congregation. This led to the great Disruption 'of 
1843, & n d Bonar with many of his friends was among 
the four hundred and fifty-one ministers who withdrew 
from the Establishment and formed " the Free Church 
of Scotland." 

Most controversies are capable of being adjusted in 
time and schism is never lovely. But these men were 
conscientious and many of them were heroic in thus 
renouncing their only means of support. Mr. Bonar 
and his parish were exceptional in being able to retain 
their property, and he continued at Kelso as the devoted 
pastor of the church, now " Free," until 1866. 

Some have wondered that one so gifted should spend 
the greater part of his ministry in the obscure country- 
side. Invitations to go elsewhere were not wanting. But 
he was absorbed in his pastoral work and in evangelistic 
labors which took in the whole Border country. " Here 
I am, and here I must remain till my Lord come to me or 
for me," he wrote to a church at Newcastle; and he 
heard no clear call until, in 1866, the opportunity came 
to found a new church in his native city. He was a man 
set apart. He hated publicity and counted recognition 
and honors from men's hands a very empty thing. He 
was like a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, anxious 
to make it better for his passing through, but homesick 
for heaven. He lived with God, the humblest of His 
children, and had only one great aim in his life to 
bring men to Christ. 

Those quiet years at Kelso no doubt made him what 
he was intellectually and spiritually. There he carried 
on his studies and attained the culture that is more than 
scholarship. But, as in all he did, even his studies 
centered in Christ. His attention was turned to the 


interpretation of prophecy and he became an ardent 
" premillenarian." He believed that our Lord was to 
return in person, soon, suddenly, and with power; to 
destroy antichrist and restore Israel, and to inaugurate 
an earthly kingdom of a thousand years. The Advent 
hope became an absorbing passion. In its light he lived 
and worked, and to spread it he wrote tracts and books, 
and for twenty-five years edited The Quarterly Journal 
of Prophecy. 

This sense of detachment from the present world, 
this homesickness for heaven, this hopeful but pensive 
expectation of the Second Coming, are behind Ms hymns 
and make them what they are. " There is nobody like 
Bonar to sing about heaven," exclaims one of the char- 
acters in Miss Phelps's Gates Ajar. And it is true: 
nobody since the time of Bernard of Cluny. His hymns 
are like those that came out of the seclusion and other- 
worldliness of the medieval monasteries, where the 
monks sang of the growing evil of the world outside, of 
the absent Bridegroom, and of the glories of Jerusalem 
the golden. "What! " said a High Church lady at 
Torquay, on meeting a member of Bonar 's Edinburgh 
congregation: "Is Bonar, the hymn writer, still alive? 
I always understood he was a medieval saint." 

He was in his fifty-seventh year when he went to Edin- 
burgh to spend the remainder of life in upbuilding a new 
parish. Largely under Dr. Thomas Chalmers' influ- 
ence he had entered the ministry; under Chalmers' 
leadership he had exchanged the established Church for 
the Free ; and in his regard that leader persisted as " the 
greatest man he had ever met." He found special pleas- 
ure therefore in becoming first pastor of the Chalmers 
Memorial Church. In Edinburgh, as in the Border, lie 


was evangelist as well as pastor, and when Dwight 
L. Moody came to Scotland, Bonar took an active part 
In his mission and even wrote some hymns for Sankey. 
Sankey had set to music Tennyson's song from " Guine- 
vere," " Late, late, so late ! and dark the night and 
chill! " And, when copyright difficulties prevented 
its printing, Bonar furnished a substitute, " Yet there 
is room 7 : the Lamb's bright hall of song." 

In 1883 Dr. Bonar was made Moderator of the Free 
Church Assembly. The photograph of him here repro- 
duced showed (more clearly than a reproduction can) the 
facings on the coat of the court dress prescribed by 
custom for a moderator's wear. His last sermon in the 
Chalmers Memorial was preached on September n, 1887. 

At his funeral his assistant, the Rev. J. M. Sloan, 
drove to the Canongate churchyard in the same car- 
riage with Principal Cairns and Dr. Cuyler of Brook- 
lyn. The three men fell to discussing their preferences 
among Bonar's hymns. One spoke for " Here, O my 
Lord, I see Thee face to face " ; another, for " When the 
weary, seeking rest " ; the third, for " I heard the voice 
of Jesus say. 77 


It was the shortest of stories according to Dr. Bonar. 
" I have nothing on record but a little scrap of paper 
without a date and the hymn written in pencil." But, 
thanks to Ms son, we can now do a little better than that. 

For the year before his ordination Bonar was assistant 
at St. John's, Leith, and superintended the Sunday 
school. He worried because the children took no interest 
in the singing. Nothing was provided for them except 


the Scottish Psalms in meter and a few hymns set to 
solemn tunes, and neither the words nor music appealed 
to them. The young superintendent tried the experiment 
of writing simpler hymns to melodies the scholars al- 
ready knew. " I lay my sins on Jesus " set to " Heber " 
and " The morning, the bright and the beautiful morn- 
ing " set to " The Flowers of the Forest," were the first, 
printed on little leaflets. The results were so happy 
that he wrote a few more, including " I was a wandering 
sheep," and printed them with a number of selected 
hymns on new leaflets. 

Evidently the ban against human hymns was not 
strictly enforced in the home and Sunday school, but 
there was as yet no movement to introduce them into 
the church service. When the Free Church went out 
in 1843 it kept on using the metrical Psalms as a matter 
of course, and during the whole of Bonar's ministry at 
Kelso, no hymns were sung in his church other than the 
group of Paraphrases already in the Psalm books. 

His first hymn for grown people, " Go, labor on," 
was written at Leith, to hearten his fellow workers in his 
mission district. After he went to the quieter scenes 
of Kelso, his hymn writing grew into a habit. He kept 
a note book at his side or in his pocket, wherever he 
went, in which he would jot down a thought or a line or 
a verse, to be worked up at leisure, or even a hymn 
hastily written in pencil, with contractions, elisions, and 
sometimes a phrase in shorthand. 

Dr. Bonar's son has had some pages from these note- 
books reproduced, and we have before us a rough draft 
of " I heard the voice of Jesus say." Here, indeed, is 
the story of the hymn as we see it unfolding like a 
flower from the first seed thought to the perfect form. 

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We have even the quaint little designs in the margin 
that the hand makes almost unconsciously while the 
brain is shaping its thoughts. The reproduction is 
somewhat faint, but the original was in pencil and is now 
rubbed and faded. The photographer who copied it is 
said to have required an exposure of three quarters of 
an hour to get the result that we have before us. 

In the notebook this hymn comes next to the well- 
known Advent hymn, "The Church has waited long." 
It is not printed among the seventeen of his own hymns 
Dr. Bonar included in his The Bible Hymn Book of 
1845, an d is said to have appeared first in another col- 
lection, Hymns original and selected, 1846, which the 
present writer has not seen. As one after another note- 
book filled up during those quiet years at Kelso, Dr. 
Bonar gathered and printed his hymns as Hymns of 
Faith and Hope; a first volume in 1857, a second in 
1861, a third in 1866. After going to Edinburgh he 
brought out three more volumes : The Song of the new 
Creation in 1872, Hymns of the Nativity in 1879, and 
Communion Hymns in 1881. 

When these " Hymns of Faith and Hope " were new 
they took the religious world by storm. They were so 
fresh and original, so beautiful in phrase and melodious, 
so spiritual and tender, that people were disposed to 
make a cult of them and to say, "There never were 
such hymns as these." Canon Duncan, speaking no 
doubt for England rather than for Sonar's Scotland, is 
responsible for the statement that "they were at one 
time found in almost every Christian home.' 7 And the 
editors of hymn books vied with one another in put- 
ting a representative selection of them before the con- 


Well, novelty wears off and an Indiscriminate popular- 
ity always brings about a reaction of criticism if not 
Indifference. Moreover the atmosphere of the religious 
-world changes, whether for better or worse, and at 
present Bonar's thought of life as a pilgrimage and his 
homesickness for heaven do not make the wide appeal 
they once did. These changing conditions have affected 
the popularity of his hymns. The critics say now that 
some of them are careless and some repetitious and me- 
chanical; and good people say that others of them are 
somewhat morbid. And so it has come about that fewer 
of Bonar's hymns are sung today than was the case a 
generation ago. One can feel some sympathy, perhaps, 
with a present-day bustling Christian who says that " A 
few more years shall roll " gets on his nerves ; but it is 
hard to belive that any changes of atmosphere will affect 
" I heard the voice of Jesus say." It adds something 
even to the beautiful words of Christ : it adds the human 
response, without which Christ's words were quite in 


i. This hymn captivates us by its lyrical beauty, but 
it deserves careful study. Bishop Fraser, of Manchester, 
England, regarded it as the best in the language. It 
belongs to the class known as " subjective hymns " or 
"hymns of inward experience. " Like so many of 
Bonar's, it mirrors the life of Christ in the soul. If the 
writer understands it, it pictures human life as a pil- 
grimage (Bonar seems to have thought of life in no other 
aspect). The pilgrim has sought far and wide for things 
unattained. As night conies on he is weary of it all, he 
hears " The Voice from Galilee," and heeding it finds 


rest. But the new peace in the heart must be sustained, 
and the pilgrim reaches out his hand to take from Christ's 
the offered water of life. And thus refreshed he rests in 
the Lord. At dawn he awakes, at peace but a pilgrim 
still. It is another day and he must go on but not to 
resume the old quest. It is a new day of which Christ 
is the Light, and a transfigured world through which 
Christ is the Way. And in that Light and by that Way 
he will walk " till traveling days are done." 

Is this a fair interpretation of the hymn? 

2. Some of us will recall a discussion of the compar- 
ative merits of Dickens and Thackeray as novelists, in 
which the after-dinner speaker, having laid out his ap- 
proaches in cold blood, waxes warmer and warmer as he 
proceeds, until he ends in a spluttering confusion of 
cross currents through which all that the ear can catch 
are excited references to Dackeray and Thickens or 
Thickeray and Dackens. 

The purpose of this little skit no doubt was to poke 
fun at criticism by comparison, the method of appraising 
one writer by contrasting him with another. But the 
method has its use, if only for bringing out the distinc- 
tive features of each writer. It is not unprofitable, for 
instance, to ask how the hymns of Bonar stand compar- 
ison with those of Watts and Charles Wesley. We 
,might start by comparing what is regarded as the best 
hymn of each writer: Watts's "When I survey the 
wondrous cross," Wesley's " Jesus, Lover of my soul/ 7 
and Bonar's " I heard the voice of Jesus say." 

The comparison may well be confined to Bonar's 
choicer hymns. As was the case both with Watts and 
Wesley, he wrote far too much, and allowed facility to 
usurp the place of inspiration. Like them he was at 


times an extremely careless workman, and for some 
reason never corrected infelicities that a little thought 
might have remedied. In all the editions of his Hymns 
of Faith and Hope, so far as the writer has collated them, 
the plates remain unaltered, even as to a printer's slip. 
Bonar had also a painful way of ringing the changes 
on his thought to wearisome lengths, through a series of 
lines and phrases repeated with modifications of some 
of their words, after the manner of Southey in his 
" Cataract of Lodore." " Beyond the smiling and the 
weeping" is his best in this manner. But even the 
poorest of the hymns are by Bonar: they share in an 
individuality of thought and expression which is as 
fresh and characteristic as Charles Wesley's was. 

3. How are we to trace Bonar's lineage and assign 
him his place in the development of hymn writing as we 
have followed it in these studies? He was, to begin 
with, a Scottish hymn writer with few predecessors. 
And is there anything in Watts or Wesley to suggest 
him as a pupil in the school of either? He was more 
akin to the writers of the Evangelical Revival, but his 
own Evangelical theology he took not from them but 
directly from the stern Reformation standards of Scot- 
land, and drew forth crystal streams from that massive 
rock. He seems like a prophet, solitary and apart from 
the line of priestly succession. 

4, The correspondents' column in one of the literary 
weeklies had a query, " Is it true that no Presbyterian 
writers have contributed hymns of lasting position to 
the general stores of the Church ? " There had been a 
discussion on the subject perhaps, and some Presbyterian 
was out looking for ammunition with which to defend 
the claims of his own denomination. 


Most people would now agree that the question Is 
not very important. We choose our hymns for what 
they are, without anxiety as to the church connection 
of their authors. The modern hymn book presents the 
nearest approach to church unity so far achieved. If, 
however, the question is raised, It is answered by saying 
that Bonar's hymns are sung in all Churches and are the 
chief Presbyterian contribution to the common stock. 
Among other Presbyterian hymn writers appearing In 
the index of authors In The Hymnal revised are: 

(1) From Scotland: Bruce, Logan, Morison, J. D. 
Burns, Norman MacLeod, Matheson, Miss Borthwick 
and Mrs. Findlater, Brownlie, Mrs. Cousin, and the 
Duke of Argyll. 

(2) From Canada: Robert Murray. 

(3) From the United States: Davies, J. W. Alexander, 
Duffield, Dunn, Hastings, Mrs. Prentiss, Wolfe, Hopper, 
March, Mrs. C. L. Smith, and van Dyke. 



1 There is a green hill far away, 

Without a city wall, 
Where the dear Lord was crucified, 
Who died to save us all. 

2 We may not know, we cannot tell, 

What pains He had to bear; 

But we believe it was for us 

He hung and suffered there, 

3 He died that we might be forgiven, 

He died to make us good, 
That we might go at last to heaven, 
Saved by His precious blood. 

4 There was no other good enough 

To pay the price of sin; 
He only could unlock the gate 
Of heaven, and let us in. 

5 O dearly, dearly has He loved, 

And we must love Him too, 
And trust in His redeeming blood, 
And try His works to do. 
Cecil Frances Humphreys (afterwards Mrs. Alexander)., 1848 

NOTE: The test is taken from the third edition of Hymns for 
little Children, in which the second line is relieved from what was 
apparently a typographical error in the first edition. 



This hymn was written by a young Irish lady, Miss 
Cecil Frances Humphreys, a little before 1848. If the 
Evangelical authoress of " Just as I am, without one 
plea " read it, as probably she did, she may have thought 
it newfangled and queer, but she could not have found 
anything in it contrary to the doctrines she loved. And 
yet she must have disapproved very strongly of its 
writer, for that lady was one of the young people brought 
up on the Evangelical side of the Church who had come 
under the influence of the new High Church Movement 
and adopted the very " Puseyite errors " against which 
Miss Elliott kept warning her friends. 

To understand just what that means, we have to re- 
call a bit of church history. Not long before, in the 
early eighteen-thirties, the Church of England and of 
Ireland (disposed at the time to be somewhat drowsy) 
had been startled by strange goings-on at Oxford Uni- 
versity, just where the Methodist Movement had started 
a century before. It was the beginning of what is gen- 
erally called the Oxford or High Church Movement, of 
which Newman and Keble and Pusey were among the 
leaders. To explain its purpose in a sentence is not 
easy. It aimed to make the Church less Protestant, 
to bring it closer to the principles of Catholicism 
Apostolic Succession, the priesthood of ministers, " high " 
doctrines of the validity of sacraments, and Catholic 
ceremonial Newman and some of the other leaders were 
to follow out these principles so far as to land themselves 
in the Roman Catholic Church. But they left behind 
them in the Church of England a powerful High Church 



Party which has grown until it is to-day stronger and 
more " Catholic " than it ever was. 

Now every deeply felt religious movement shows an 
impulse to make its own songs. The Reformation 
Movement under Luther filled Germany with hymn 
singing, and under Calvin turned the Bible Psalms into 
people's songs. The Methodist movement put its gospel 
into revival hymns. The Evangelical Movement brought 
out a wealth of hymns of personal experience. And the 
High Church Movement has developed a whole com- 
pany of writers of what we might call "churchly" 
hymns. A feature of the new movement was its strict 
observance of fasts, festivals and saints' days, and its 
setting up of daily services and at least weekly com- 
munions. Suitable hymns had to be provided for all 
these occasions, so that many of the new hymns were 
" churchly " in the narrower sense. Others are churchly 
only in the broader sense in which all good Christians 
love the Church and the sanctities of God's House. And 
there are of course many more which deal with those 
experiences of the gospel that lie deeper in the heart than 
any theories of the Church that divide us. 

To say that the High Church Movement has inspired 
a large proportion of the best hymns of the nineteenth 
century is simply to acknowledge the truth. And so it 
happens that as we go forward in these studies we shall 
have to follow, the footsteps of Miss Humphreys and 
cross over from the Evangelical side to the High Church 
side of the Church of England, if we are to find some 
of the hymns most familiar and best loved. In making 
the crossing it may be as well to acknowledge that a 
disregard of the claims of aesthetic feeling has always 
been a weaker side of the Evangelical Movement. 




" There is a green hill far away " is not a High Church 
hymn nor even a churchly hymn, so far as its contents 
go. It might have been written by an Evangelical ; and 
in fact Miss Humphreys never gave up her Evangelical 
beliefs. Nevertheless the hymn was inspired by her 
new churchly ideals and written as a part of a plan to ex- 
tend them. 

She felt that if the Catholic principles of the Oxford 
Movement were to prevail, a beginning must be made 
by instilling " sound Church principles " into the chil- 
dren. And a first step was to provide them with at- 
tractive hymns setting forth those principles. She wrote 
some and tried them on her Sunday-school class. When 
she had written forty she published them in 1848 as 
Hymns for little Children, seventy-two pages in all. 
There were two daily hymns, one on the Holy Trinity, a 
group expounding the Order in the Prayer Book for a 
child's baptism, and other groups on the Apostles' Creed, 
the Commandments and the Lord's Prayer: her selec- 
tion of topics being evidently intended to cover just 
the things a child was expected to know at its con- 

"There is a green hill far away" was one of the 
Apostles' Creed group, set beneath the article, " Suffered 
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried." 
Now it is necessary to know this original setting of the 
hymn, the where and the why of its printing, in order 
to understand it. Some people have failed to under- 
stand it and have misjudged it. Dr. Theodore L. 
Cuyler, a great lover of hymns and not a bad judge of 
them, wrote to The New York Evangelist in 1895 ; "I 



confess that this popular lyric has always seemed to me 
more like a snatch of sacred geography and sound 
theology than a burst of praise." Some theologians on 
the other hand have objected that the " theology " was 
too vague, and that " He died to make us good " is not 
an intelligent statement of the atonement. 

These objections are covered by knowing that it is 
a child's hymn, picturesque because a child takes in a 
picture more readily than a thought, and endeavoring 
to state doctrine from a child's point of view and in a 
child's language. Its whole beauty lies in its simplicity, 
and if it should tempt the most systematic theologian 
to share even for a moment the mind of a child that 
would be an added grace. 

A number of Miss Humphreys' hymns have taken 
their place among the classics of Christian childhood. 
But this hymn has gone further than that. It has firmly 
established itself as a standard church hymn. There is 
a type of children's literature, such as Alice in Wonder- 
land and Kenneth Grahame's The Golden Age, that ap- 
peals irresistibly to the child within us all ; and the best 
of Miss Humphreys' children's hymns are of that type. 
Her " There is a green hill far away," like Phillips 
Brooks's " O little town of Bethlehem/ 5 cannot be hidden 
in the nursery or confined within the Sunday schoolroom. 


It is usually spoken of as written by Mrs. Alexander, 
wife of the Irish bishop or archbishop of that name, 
just as " Lead, kindly Light " is spoken of as the work of 
Cardinal Newman. But Newman was a Protestant 
clergyman when he wrote his hymn, and Cecil Hum- 


phreys was not yet married when she wrote this one: 
when she did marry, her husband was not a bishop but 
rector of a remote parish, and did not become arch- 
bishop until after her death. 

Miss Humphreys was the daughter of a major In the 
Royal Marines, a Norfolk gentleman who as a land 
owner and land agent had come to reside in Wicklow 
County, Ireland. She was born there in 1818 and spent 
all her life in Ireland. 

She wrote verses as a child, and it is not clear just how 
she was turned from the Evangelical wing of the Church 
to the High Church side. The romantic features of the 
Oxford Movement would appeal to her, and no doubt the 
beautiful poetry of John Keble's Christian Year helped. 
Her first volume of poetry, Verses for holy Seasons, was 
itself a " Christian Year " adapted to the capacities of 
children. It had a hymn for every Sunday and every 
other day provided for in the Prayer Book " in a kind 
of sing-song style of versification " a child could easily 
learn. That was in 1846. Her Hymns for little Children 
followed two years later, and had a preface by John 

In October, 1850, she married the Rev. William Alex- 
ander, a rector in Tyrone, and a very eloquent preacher, 
who seventeen years later became Bishop of Derry 
and Raphoe and ultimately "Primate of all Ireland. 35 
She was admirably fitted to be a pastor's wife. She was 
as far as possible from the dreamy, ineffectual type of 
poet. She never posed, detested gush and sentimentality, 
had a direct tongue and incisive speech, and she turned 
a vigilant eye upon her husband's house, garden and 
farm. She kept her devotional life largely hidden in her 
heart, but was a strict " Prayer Book Christian/' going 


to church every day and to communion every week. 
Beyond that her days were largely given over to errands 
of charity and helpfulness, from one poor Irish home to 
another, from one sick-bed to another, from one house of 
sorrow to another, no matter how remote. She knew 
all her neighbors, and loved them, especially the Irish 
Presbyterians. " Dear, good people ! " she would say ; 
"how kind they are to me, how ready to give for 
Christ's sake! I do like them/ 7 

When her husband became bishop in 1867, she was 
brought more into contact with society and large insti- 
tutions. She became the hostess of many distinguished 
people and shared the, publicity of a bishop's life. But 
she was as much at home in the back streets of 
Londonderry as in the Bishop's Palace. It was in the 
palace she died on October 12, 1895, and to her funeral 
a great throng gathered from England as well as from 
Ireland, thus paying a spontaneous tribute to a noble life. 
If some of them were paying tribute also to the very 
real vein of poetry that was in her, she herself would 
not have welcomed it. She was possibly the only poet 
that ever lived who did not like to hear her poems 
praised. " Again and again," her husband says, " I have 
read to her words of lofty, of almost impassioned com- 
mendation from men of genius or holiness, of rank and 
position. She listened without a remark and lopked up 
almost with a frown." The exception was his reading 
a little tract by an English nonconformist minister. It 
told the story (for whose truth the writer vouched) of 
a great change in the heart and life of a very worldly 
man. He happened to hear " There is a green hill far 
away" exquisitely sung. It awakened feelings and 
yearnings that proved to be the starting point of a new 


life. " Mrs. Alexander almost sprang from her chair, 
looked me in the face, and said ; e Thank God 1 I do like 
to hear that. 999 


1. The second line of this hymn has an interesting 
little history all its own. 

When Hymns for little Children was printed in 1848 
it read there : 

" Beside a ruined city wall." 

That must have been a blunder, one would think, because 
the two extra syllables could not possibly be sung to a 
common meter tune. In the third edition (1849), the 
line reads, 

" Without a city wall," 

and so it still stands in the 234th thousand issue of 1864. 
But sometime later the authoress was asked by a 
small child what was meant by a green hill not having a 
city wall ; and so she changed the dubious " without " to 
" outside," and in her latest text and in Hymns ancient 
and modern the line reads, 

"Outside a city wall." 

And yet when Bishop Alexander published her Poems 
after her death, he restored the "without," which cer- 
tainly falls more pleasantly on the ear. Is there any 
real necessity for resorting to " outside " ? 

2. Nothing sounds more sweet to us than the hymns 
we love sung by the lips of children. But when we ask 
what impression the words they sing make upon the 


children's own hearts and minds, we get a different point 
of view altogether. The line we have just discussed il- 
lustrates the difficulty of getting to a child's mind. 
There are other illustrations in plenty. The child who 
asked for the hymn about "the boy who stole the 
watch " was referring to 

"The old man, meek and mild, 

The priest of Israel, slept; 
His watch the temple-child, 
The little Levite, kept." 

Dr. Watts was the first Englishman to write hymns chil- 
dren could understand: they could hardly mistake 

"Let dogs delight to bark and bite, 
For God hath made them so ; " 

and his Divine Songs for the use of Children monopo- 
lized the field for a century. Charles Wesley tried to 
improve upon them with his Hymns for Children. Of 
these Dr. A. E. Gregory, not the less a good Wesleyan 
for his sense of humor, remarks that some of them must 
have frightened a poor little Methodist out of his wits. 
And the Taylor sisters, Ann and Jane, followed in 1810 
with their Hymns for infant minds, almost too infantile, 
it seems now, but widely used in their day. 

When the High Church Movement began there were 
no children's hymns extant that fitted in with High 
Church ideals. Miss Humphreys was only one of sev- 
eral who tried to provide them, but she was the most 
successful with her Hymns for little Children. And yet 
even of these the proportion that won their way was 
small, and of the children's hymns of her later life, which 
were very many, scarcely any are even remembered. 


If then it is so extremely difficult to write good chil- 
dren's hymns, and if children get the strangest notions 
out of their hymns even when they are good, a question 
opens out that is at least worthy of discussion. May it 
not prove the wise course to encourage the children to 
learn the great hymns of the Church while memory is 
strong, with such explanations as we can give, trusting 
that as they grow older the hymns securely lodged in 
their memory will prove a life-long treasure? Is not 
this the course we pursue in respect of the Bible, the 
Creed, and the Commandments, much of which is be- 
yond a child's understanding? 

3. This hymn had the honor of being set to music, as 
a solo, by one of the most distinguished of modern 
French musicians, Charles Frangois Gounod, who is 
said to have remarked that the words themselves were 
so musical they hardly needed such setting. His music 
to the minds of many is the most perfect interpretation 
of the hymn. Mr. Gower's " Meditation," to which the 
words are set in The Hymnal revised, was written for 
" There is a land of pure delight," but is becoming more 
and more closely, attached to the present hymn. Mr. 
Gower was an Englishman who came early to this coun- 
try, engaging himself with mining interests at Denver, 
Colorado, where he died in 1922. The tune " Horsley," 
printed beneath the words, is the favorite in most English 
churches, and one of solid worth, likely to grow in the 
esteem of those who make use of it. 



1 Art them weary, art thou languid, 

Art thou sore distrest? 
"Come to Me," saith One, "and, coming, 
Be at rest." 

2 Hath He marks to lead me to Him, 

If He be my Guide? 

"In His feet and hands are wound-prints, 
And his side," 

3 Is there diadem, as Monarch, 

That His brow adorns? 
"Yea, a crown, in very surety, 
But of thorns." 

4 If I find Him, if I follow, 

What His guerdon here? 
" Many a sorrow, many a labor, 
Many a tear." 

5 If I still hold closely to Him, 

What hath He at last? 
"Sorrow vanquished, labor ended, 
Jordan passed." 

6 If I ask Him to receive me, 

Will He say me nay? 
" Not till earth and not till heaven 
Pass away." 



7 Finding, following, keeping, struggling, 

Is He sure to bless? 
"Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs, 
Answer, 'Yes.'" 

Rev. John Mason Neale, 1862 

NOTE: The text is that of Dr. Neale's Hymns of the Eastern Church 
translated, except in the third line of the last verse, which there 
reads, "Angels, Martyrs, Prophets, Virgins," 


The hymn takes the form of a dialogue between an 
evangelist who offers Christ as the Way to rest and a 
pilgrim who asks about the signposts and the road. The 
form is striking but it is not strange. " Watchman, tell 
us of the night " is also a dialogue, and those who have 
followed these studies will recall John Cennick and his 
Sacred Hymns " mostly composed in DIALOGUES." 

The conversational form is older still. The Twenty- 
fourth Psalm is a hymn in dialogue between two choirs, 
one stationed within the holy walls, the other gathered 
outside the gate and claiming the right to enter. But in 
the present hymn the give-and-take between the speakers 
is brisker, more dramatic. 

Its dramatic quality is brought out in a passage to- 
ward the close of Sally Pratt McLean's novel, Cape Cod 
Folks. The young men of the village had stayed " down 
to shore" in the late afternoon putting the finishing 
touches on " mendin 5 up the old schooner." In the 
evening a few sorrowing neighbors gathered at Grandma 
Keeler's, where Captain Satchell * was telling how 
George Olver and Lute Cradlebow had sung this hymn 
together as they worked upon the schooner, just be- 
* These names were changed in later editions of the novel. 


fore the black squall came, in which Lute went down 
to his heroic death. 

" By and by, him and George Olver struck up a song. 
I've heern 'em sing it before, them two. As nigh as I 
calk'late, it's about findin' rest in Jesus, and one a askin' 
questions, all fa'r and squar ', to know the way and 
whether it's a goin' to lead thar' straight or not, and the 
other answerin'. And he he was a tinkerin,' 'way up 
on the foremast, George Olver and the rest on us was 
astern, and I'll hear to my dyin' day how his voice 
came a floatin' down to us thar', chantin'-like it 
was cl'ar and fearless and slow. So he asks, for 
findin' Jesus, ef thar's any marks to f oiler by ; and George 
Olver, he answers about them bleedin' nail-prints, and 
the great one in His side. 

" So then that voice comes down ag'in, askin' if thar's 
any crown, like other kings, to tell Him by ; and George 
Olver, he answers straight about that crown o' thorns. 

"Then says that other voice, floatin' so strong and 
cl'ar, and if he gin up all and follered, what should he 
have? what now? So George Olver, he sings deep o' the 
trial and the sorrowin'. But that other voice never 
shook, a askin', and what if he helt to Him to the end, 
what then should it be, what then? George Olver an- 
swers: * Forevermore, the sorrowin' ended Death 
gone over.' 

" Then he sings out, like his mind was all made up, 
c And if he undertook it, would he likely be turned 
away ? ' 

" * And it's likelier,' George Olver answers him, c that 
heaven and earth shall pass.' 

" So I'll hear it to my dyin' day his voice a floatin' 
down to me from up above thar' somewhar', askin' them 


questions that nobody could ever answer like, so soon, 
lie answered 3 em for himself." 


John Mason Neale was another young recruit of the 
High Church Party in the Church of England who came 
over from the Evangelical side. He was born in London 
in January, 1818; the son of an Evangelical clergyman, 
and at eighteen was sent up to Cambridge University. 
The High Church Movement, begun at Oxford, was very 
active there by this time, and Neale gave himself up to 
it with his whole heart, becoming as much of a " Cath- 
olic " as one can without submitting to the Pope's au- 
thority. The spread of the Movement was creating gen- 
eral alarm throughout the country, and Neale, who was 
nothing if not outspoken, was already a marked man. 
The Bishop of Winchester refused his license, but Bishop 
Monk ordained him in 1842. He passed his whole min- 
istry under the shadow of reproach and disfavor. The 
only preferment in the Church that came to him was the 
wardenship of Sackville College at East Grinstead, 
some twenty-nine miles from London. With a high- 
sounding name the college was merely an endowed alms- 
house, and the wardenship carried a salary of less than 
thirty pounds. This position Neale obtained in 1846 and 
retained until his death there in August, 1866; a period 
of twenty years, for sixteen of which he was prohibited 
by his bishop from exercising any ministerial functions, 
and during several of them was occasionally subject to 
visitation by the " No-Popery " men. 

When he founded at East Grinstead a nursing " Sister- 
hood of S. Margaret " he was felt to have capped Ms 


offenses by adding " a Romish convent " to the resources 
of a Protestant Church. So intense were the feelings 
aroused that, when Neale and the Sisters took the body 
of one who had died to Lewes for burial, they were at- 
tacked in the churchyard by a mob. Neale was knocked 
down and maltreated, the Sisters were hustled along 
the streets, and the whole party rescued with great diffi- 
culty by the police and finally got on board the train 
for East Grinstead. For such are the reversals of re- 
ligious history. In one century a man is mobbed for 
trying to stir up an " Evangelical Revival/ 3 in the next 
for trying to stir up a " Catholic Revival.' 3 

Such experiences did not suggest to Neale any compro- 
mise of his church views. Those were fixed ideas, on 
which his whole life was built. He believed that in 
the " Catholic 3? system of religion he had found ulti- 
mate truth and was incapable of "liberal " views in 
theology or politics. The opposition or enmity he 
aroused he met by ignoring it and turning his back upon 
Ms accusers. With an elevation of mind that refused 
to harbor resentment, he calmly pursued his own ideals 
of life, in which scholarship and charity happily mingled. 
In his study at East Grinstead or abroad he carried for- 
ward Ms researches on the sources of early church his- 
tory and worsMp, bringing forth work after work marked 
by a learning that in his own lines had no equal and by 
a productiveness almost without parallel. He gave 
special attention to the hymns of the Latin Church, to 
which the minds of High Churchmen had turned as more 
ancient and seemly than the current hymns of the Evan- 
gelicals. He explored their sources, gathered many 
Mtherto unknown, wrote their history, and translated 
some of them with brilliant success. 



But Neale was more than a scholar. He wrote many 
books for the people, sermons, young people's stories, 
" readings " to the aged and the sick. There are some 
who regard him as a great master of English, and a 
great teacher of that pure religion which lies deeper 
than the clash of rival systems. That accomplished 
bookman, Sir William Robertson Nicoll, himself a Con- 
gregationalist and Evangelical, shortly before his death 
confessed that "Neale's Readings to the Aged is my 
favorite amongst all religious books, and many pages of 
it I could almost repeat by heart." Good as these 
books are, it is not by them that Neale's memory is 
kept green so much as by such hymns as " Jerusalem the 
golden " and " Art thou weary, art thou languid." 


The Eastern or Greek Church, as well as the Roman, 
claims to be " Catholic." It claims also to be, like its 
Lord, unchangeable. And while Newman and others 
were turning toward the Church of Rome, Neale was 
strongly disposed to seek a refuge from modern liberal- 
ism in that immovable fortress of the faith, the Greek 
Church. He devoted much time to studying its history 
and liturgies. He was the first Englishman to tackle 
what he called "the eighteen quarto books of Greek 
Church poetry," and in 1862 he published a little volume 
of Hymns of the Eastern Church translated. 

It was a wonderful little book : as if he had discovered 
a forgotten country, not in Arctic regions but in the fer- 
tile East, which he had been cultivating alone for twelve 
years, and now brought into our Western Churches 
some of the flowers he had raised. Among them were 


such hymns as " The day is past and over," " Christian, 
dost thou see them," "The day of resurrection/' and 
" Art thou weary, art thou languid." 


The book found a ready welcome among those inter- 
ested in the old church hymns. Only a year earlier a 
group of clergymen had put forth a collection with the 
taking title, Hymns ancient and modern. It was en- 
thusiastically received by High Churchmen, resented by 


Evangelicals, and soon became (as it continues to be) 
the chief hymnal of the Church of England. By 1868 
the time had come to enlarge it, and an " Appendix " of 
that year afforded the opportunity of adding eight of 
Neale's hymns of the Eastern Church. Of the eight 
" Art thou weary " made the quickest appeal to the pub- 
lic: it was simple and touching, and the catchy tune, 
" Stephanos," has carried it all over the English-speaking 

It must be acknowledged that the little voyager sailed 
under false colors. Dr. Neale had launched it flying the 
Greek flag, and everywhere it was welcomed as an an- 
cient Greek hymn, while in fact it was not a Greek hymn 
at all, but a modern English hymn composed by Dr. 
Neale himself. 

He had printed it in 1862 among his translations of 
the Hymns of the Eastern Church, naming " S. Stephen 
the Sabaite/ 7 an eighth century Syrian monk, as its 
author, giving a sketch of his life, quoting the first line 
of the hymn in Greek, even naming the particular service 
book In which he had found it : " I copy/ 7 he said, " from 
a dateless Constantinopolitan book." What could be 
more explicit? And who was there in England to ques- 
tion his facts? 

And yet just before his last illness in 1866 Dr. Neale 
brought out a third edition of his Hymns of the Eastern 
Church with a new preface in which he said that " Art 
thou weary " and two of the other hymns " contain so 
little from the Greek, that they ought not to have been 
included in this collection; in any future Edition they 
shall appear as an Appendix." 

We can imagine what had happened. He had been 
anxious to make out the best case he could for the Greek 


hymns as a link between the Greek and English 
Churches. But even to make them presentable he had 
to change and omit and piece together, and to water 
some doctrines too strong for English palates. In some 
of his translations a searcher would find it hard to 
identify his originals, and on reflection his conscience 
compelled him to confess that " Art thou weary " had no 
original at all. Possibly some phrase or mannerism of 
St. Stephen moved him to write it, but it was all his own. 

Dr. Neale had made what the French call a faux pas ; 
an unfortunate one because when a mistake once gets 
into circulation it is hard to correct. He did not live to 
remove the three hymns from his translations, and after 
his death his publishers did not help much. At least 
one edition of Hymns of the Eastern Church was printed 
just as he left it, and a fifth edition that did remove the 
hymn to an appendix printed there with it all the data 
about St. Stephen's authorship and even omitted Dr. 
Neale's little confession from the preface. 

This explains no doubt why Mr. King, dealing with this 
hymn in his Anglican Hymnology of 1885, gives not only 
a biography of the Syrian monk but an account of a visit 
to the monastery of Mar Saba as " more endeared " to 
him when he remembers that " there eleven centuries 
ago St. Stephen wrote the touching hymn." All of which 
in his turn Mr. Duffield has copied into his English 
Hymns and Mr. Morrison in his turn into his Great 
Hymns of the Church. And so it happens that our little 
voyager still finds a harbor in many a Christian heart, 
flying the Greek flag under which it was launched in 



1. The Church Is a society of human beings, and al- 
most as open to fluctuations of feeling and changes of 
opinion and manners as worldly society is. The Word 
of God does not change, but our response to it is always 
changing. The Church's hymn book is a sort of regis- 
tering thermometer that first feels and then records these 
changes. And the hymn books of to-day show a very 
different face from those, say, of 1840. These changes 
are of course largely due to the Oxford Movement and 
the new ideals of churchliness it spread abroad, but in 
bringing them about Dr. Neale has had more influence 
than any other man. He linked the Church's hymns with 
the Church's history ; for which achievement he alone of 
the men of his time had the requisite scholarship. He 
invested our congregational praise with something like 
an atmosphere of romance the light of other days and 
glimpses of far-off things : he awakened the Church to a 
sense of " her unending song." And his matchless trans- 
lations have actually made some hymns of the Middle 
Ages as familiar as household words. 

When we remember how extreme and uncompromis- 
ing Dr. Neale's High Church views were, it is amazing 
to find that in some denominations which oncfe sang no 
hymns but those of Dr. Watts and still adhere in the 
main to Watts's theology, there are nearly as many of 
Dr. Neale's hymns in actual use to-day as of Watts 
himself. And the fact may properly raise the question 
whether he was not only the greatest personal influence 
in modifying our hymnody but also the greatest of the 
nineteenth century hymn writers. 

2. The Evangelical hymn writer, Miss Havergal, says 


in one of her letters that she " cannot understand how 
any Christian can stand still and sing such a misrepre- 
sentation of Christ's service as " are the words of the 
fourth verse, 

If I find Him, if I follow, 

What His guerdon here? 
" Many a sorrow, many a labor, 
Many a tear." 

"Is not that too bad? Do we not know it to be 
unfair to our Lord and His happy service ? Where does 
He say that is * His guerdon here ' ? Let us just think 
for our service what He does say : < Work ; for I am 
with you, saith the Lord of Hosts/ That alone is the 
grandest, richest, sweetest ' guerdon here ' that any lov- 
ing heart can ask." 

Is there any actual difference between the "work" 
which is a part of the guerdon here, according to Miss 
Havergal, and the " many a labor/' which is a part of 
it, according to Dr. Neale ? Is the saying " In this 
world ye shall have tribulation " to be separated from the 
" Work ; for I am with you," or is Dr. Neale right in 
joining " many a labor " with " many a tear "? It may 
be that if Miss Havergal had been less impulsive and 
willing to " stand still " long enough to sing the hymn 
through, she might have come to feel that in verse four 
Dr. Neale was only laying the ground adroitly for the 
" sorrow vanquished " of verse five. 

3. Of the tunes to this hymn in The Hymnal revised 
" Stephanos," the lower one, is that which first attracted 
attention to the words in Hymns ancient and modern. 
The melody was composed by the Rev. Sir Henry Wil- 
liams Baker, editor-in-chief of that book, author also of 


" The King of love my Shepherd is/ J and he asked Dr. 
Monk, the musical editor, to manage the harmonies for 
him. It is a good tune when sung deliberately and with 
feeling. Rattled off without feeling, by American voices 
especially, it becomes unpleasant and even acquires a 
nasal twang. Perhaps the fact that it is so often rattled 
off explains why many people have come to prefer the 
more sentimental tune of Dr. Bullinger. 

To which tune was it that George Olver and Lute 
Cradlebow sang these words together? Having read 
Cape Cod Folks, the writer is confident they sang the 
tune provided in the Moody and Sankey Gospel Hymns 
No. 2. But does not Captain SatchelPs description of 
their singing afford in itself clues enough to identify 
the tune ? 




1 Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we raise 
With one accord our parting hymn of praise; 

We stand to bless Thee ere our worship cease; 
Then, lowly kneeling, wait Thy word of peace. 

2 Grant us Thy peace upon our homeward way; 
With Thee began, with Thee shall end the day: 
Guard Thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame, 
That in this house have called upon Thy Name. 

3 Grant us Thy peace, Lord, through the coming night; 
Turn Thou for us its darkness into light; 

From harm and danger keep Thy children free, 
For dark and light are both alike to Thee. 

4 Grant us Thy peace throughout our earthly life, 
Our balm in sorrow, and our stay in strife; 
Then, when Thy voice shall bid our conflict cease, 
Call us, O Lord, to Thine eternal peace. 

Rev. John Ellerton, 1866 

NOTE: The text here given is that which was prepared for the 
Appendix to Hymns ancient and modem, 1868. Other forms of the 
hymn are referred to under " Some Points for Discussion." 




This Is the third in our little group of High Church 
hymns, and anyone familiar with the history of the Eng- 
lish Church and English hymns would know at a glance 
that it was inspired by the Oxford Movement. It is 
" churchly." 

There is nothing romantic or striking in the origin 
of the hymn or in the life of the clergyman who wrote 
it. The interest lies rather in discovering the hymn to 
be so natural an expression of the author's personality 
and his relation to the Movement that we feel the writ- 
ing of it to have been almost inevitable. 

Some strange tales, hard to credit nowadays, are told 
of the neglected and sometimes disreputable conditions 
of public worship in English parish churches in the 
years before the Oxford Movement of the eighteen- 
thirties : tales of ancient buildings falling into decay and 
dirty, of furnishings shabby and unseemly, of sacra- 
ments administered carelessly and uncouthly, of scanty 
and irreverent congregations. With every allowance for 
exaggeration it is plain that the ordinance of worship 
was suffering from indifference. 

To change all that was one of the very first tasks the 
High Church Party set for itself: to make the worship 
express visibly in dignity and even stateliness the high 
doctrines it held of Church and Sacrament. The ex- 
treme men aimed at more than this, at nothing less than 
to restore the full Catholic ceremonial: but in an in- 
sistence upon outward beauty and reverence and in giv- 
ing more of a mystical tone to the celebration of Holy 
Communion, all High Churchmen were agreed. The 
brightening and embellishment of public worship be- 


came the visible sign and token of the Movement, as 
year by year it widened its bounds and gradually, against 
great opposition, changed the outward face of the Church 
of England. 

This enrichment of the church services was the feature 
of the Movement that especially attracted the Rev. 
John Ellerton, author of " Saviour, again to Thy dear 
Name we raise." The hymn itself shows this. It could 
have been written only by one to whom the reverent 
conduct of public worship meant a great deal. Its very 
atmosphere is churchly. The " we " of the opening line 
makes us feel ourselves members of a church engaged in 
an act of corporate worship, now closing with a parting 
hymn of praise. Our very attitudes of body are por- 
trayed. We stand to sing : we kneel for the benediction, 
and go out in the hush that follows God's word of peace. 
And the thought of the hymn is that lips and heart so 
engaged in reverent offices should carry with them to 
the life outside the peace of that benediction and the 
purity of that worship. 


John Ellerton was born in a refined and religious home 
in London nine days before the Christmas of 1826. 
There had come to the city, shortly before a young Pres- 
byterian minister from Scotland, Edward Irving. Tall, 
white-faced, long-haired, an orator and enthusiast, his 
preaching took the religious world by storm; a great 
Presbyterian church was built for him at Regent Square, 
and he became the fashionable preacher of London. 
Feeling himself a prophet to Babylon the Great, his 
message soon took the shape of heralding the imminent 


return of the Messiah, and was accompanied by a revival 
of the miraculous gifts of the Apostolic Church. As his 
eloquence grew less coherent, and " the tongues " began 
to make themselves heard in unearthly shrieks and unin- 
telligible " prophecies," he lost his vogue, was deposed 
by the Church of Scotland, and faded out of notice by 
the general public. 

The excited interest Irving had aroused in millenarian 
speculations, and the expectation of the Second Advent, 
still continued among the London Evangelicals. Mr. 
Ellerton tells us that in the religious circle in which his 
boyhood was spent, the favorite and inexhaustible sub- 
ject of talk and reading was unfulfilled prophecy. The 
chronology of the future was a chief concern: in what 
year would the Jews be restored, Papacy be destroyed, 
the Millenium begin ? The shy and sensitive boy drank 
it all in and awaited with perfect faith some great crisis 
predicted for 1844. He was shocked when in 1841 his 
father executed a seven-year lease of some real estate. 
These religious speculations he soon left behind, but a 
deep love for the Evangelical type of piety he had wit- 
nessed at home stayed with him all his life, and served 
as a corrective of later High Church opinions. 

At eighteen he was sent up to Cambridge University, 
into a changed atmosphere, where the center of debate 
was not the marks of the Beast but the marks of the 
true church. Here he came under the influence of Fred- 
erick Denison Maurice, a Broad rather than High Church 
theologian. And so it happened that as Mr. Ellerton fell 
in gradually with the views of the new High Church 
Party, his Evangelical heritage and the liberal doctrines 
of Maurice diluted them. He was never tempted to go 
to such extremes as Dr. Neale. 


In these matters of opinion Mr. Ellerton, like most 
of us, was a mirror rather than a shining light, reflecting 
more or less of surrounding influences. So far as his 


outward career is concerned he was simply a typical 
English country parson, important in his parish, not 
widely influential outside : but something more than we 


mean when in this country we speak of a country 

In England the Church is a part of the political sys- 
tem. The whole surface is plotted into a network of 
parishes, each with a parish church and a parish clergy- 
man, supported by taxes levied on the products of soil 
and industry. At its best the system secures to each 
parish the residence of a refined and educated gentle- 
man as a friend of the poor and a sort of spiritual squire ; 
the parson has a social status and his lot often falls in 
very pleasant places. There are hard places, too; par- 
ishes remote, rude, or too poor to furnish even a decent 
living, or where the only people who might make a con- 
gregation in the parish church prefer to go to dissenting 
chapels, or the man who owns perhaps the whole parish 
is hostile to the church or parson. 

Mr. Ellerton's lot lay largely in obscure but appar- 
ently not hard places. He began in 1850 with three 
years in a Sussex village, followed by an assistant min- 
istry in one of the Brighton churches. From there he 
passed on to one country parish and another, four in all. 
He was stricken with paralysis at the end of 1891, re- 
tired to Torquay and died there on June 15, 1893. When 
lying disabled he was nominated to a prebendary's stall 
of St. Alban's Cathedral, the only recognition that ever 
came to him ; an honor empty enough, but entitling him 
under some peculiar custom of that cathedral to be ad- 
dressed during the last months of his illness as " Canon " 




Always and everywhere Mr. Ellerton was first of all 
the faithful parson, but he had also ample opportunity 
to cultivate a hobby. And his hobby was hymns. From 
being a hobby they grew into a controlling interest of 


his life the study of hymns, the preparation of hymn 
books, and most of all hymn writing. He had begun 
writing them for his Sunday school while assistant at 
Brighton, just as Dr. Bonar had done while assistant 
at Leith; and, like Dr. Bonar again, he published a chil- 


dren's hymn book. He went on writing hymns through- 
out his life, and five years before his death gathered them 
into a volume of Hymns original and translated. They 
were not sudden inspirations or flashes of poetic fire. 
They were planned and wrought as contributions to the 
new hymnody of his Church; sometimes to fit an occa- 
sion, sometimes to supply a gap in the provision for spe- 
cial days of the Prayer Book. 

" Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we raise " was 
written at Crewe Green in 1866, to be sung at a festival 
of parish choirs held in Nantwich. Like others of his 
hymns it was composed to fit a particular tune that 
took his fancy and ran in his head ; in this case a tune 
called " St. Agnes " he found in a recently published col- 
lection of Edward H. Thome. Mr. F. A. Jones, who 
made a diligent search for the original manuscripts of 
familiar hymns, tells us it was written on the reverse of 
a leaf of the sermon preached the Sunday before, and 
that in the first draft the opening line read: 

" Father, once more before we part, we raise." 

As Mr. Ellerton wrote it, there were six verses ; at one 
time or another it has been revised, by his own hand 
and the hands of other people also, so that several dif- 
fering texts are current. When that 1868 Appendix to 
Hymns ancient and modern was planned (the one that 
took in some of Dr. Neale's hymns of the Greek Church), 
Mr. Ellerton sent in this hymn to the editors, and either 
he or they prepared the abridgment in four verses as 
there printed, which is still the most familiar text. A 
little later he became one of the editors of the rival 
Church Hymns of 1871 and prepared for it a different 
form of the hymn, a facsimile of which is here given. 


One wonders why lie wished the " approaching night " 
verse to have precedence over the " homeward way " 
verse, and why he preferred the harsh " through this ap- 
proaching night " to " through the coming night." But 
even hymn writers have their little obstinacies. 

With the hymn thus lodged in both the important 
hymnals, its future in the Church of England was secure. 
When it was taken from Hymns ancient and modern 
into the Presbyterian Hymnal published at Philadelphia 
in 1874, many good Presbyterians, who knew very little 
about the Oxford Movement and had supposed that 
Watts, the Wesleys and the Evangelicals wrote all the 
good hymns, must have wondered sometimes from what 
source the editor of their new book drew such hymns as 
this and "Jerusalem the golden" and "The Church's 
one Foundation." 


i. Mr. Ellerton was among the most accomplished of 
the men who wrote churchly hymns in the latter half of 
the nineteenth century. The whole number of his is 
just short of a hundred, and many of them are in actual 
use. All are marked by deep reverence and by feeling 
carefully restrained within the limits of what may be 
expected from average worshipers. They vary much in 
quality, and some of those for saints' days and special 
occasions carry marks of manufacture. Whence indeed 
could one draw inspiration for the commemoration of 
St. Bartholomew, of whom we do not know a thing, or 
for " Catechising " or for " The Sunday after a funeral " ? 

Of the thirteen of Ellerton's hymns (aside from the 
two in which he had some part) in The Hymnal revised 


which are the best? And are there any that could be 

2. Anyone interested in the text of the hymn should 
examine the form given in The New Hymnal of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church (1916). It is in four verses 
made up from the six as originally written, and the 
third verse much extends the scope of the peace prayed 
for, as follows: 

Grant us Thy peace throughout our earthly life; 
Peace to Thy Church from error and from strife; 
Peace to our land, the fruit of truth and love; 
Peace in each heart, Thy Spirit from above. 

3. Of the tunes for this hymn in The Hymnal revised, 
" Pax Dei " is the original setting composed by Dr. 
Dykes for the Appendix of 1868; and Mr. F. A. Jones 
quotes Mrs. Ellerton as saying that her husband was so 
delighted with it that he sent the composer a letter of 
thanks. It has been retained in all later issues of Hymns 
ancient and modern, amounting now to many millions of 
copies, and is sung the wide world over. 

Dr. Hopkins' " Ellers," originally named " Benedic- 
tion," and written in 1869 for unison singing with varied 
harmonies, was chosen for Church Hymns, and is cer- 
tainly an ideal tune for congregational use. Mr. Ellerton 
told his biographer that he had come to prefer it (when 
sung in unison) to Dr. Dykes's tune. Having both 
before us we are as free as Mr. Ellerton was to make 
our personal choice and to change it. 



1 The Church's one Foundation 

Is Jesus Christ her Lord; 
She is His new creation 

By water and the word: 
From heaven He came and sought her 

To be His holy Bride; 
With His own blood He bought her, 

And for her life He died. 

2 Elect from every nation, 

Yet one o'er all the earth, 
Her charter of salvation 

One Lord, one faith, one birth; 
One holy Name she blesses, 

Partakes one holy food, 
And to one hope she presses, 

With every grace endued. 

3 Though with a scornful wonder 

Men see her sore oppressed, 
1 By schisms rent asunder, 

By heresies distressed, 
Yet saints their watch are keeping, 

Their cry goes up, " How long? " 
And soon the night of weeping 

Shall be the morn of song. 

4 *Mid toil and tribulation, 

And tumult of her war, 
She waits the consummation 
Of peace for evermore; 



Till with the vision glorious 

Her longing eyes are blest, 

And the great Church victorious 

Shall be the Church at rest. 

5 Yet she on earth hath union 

With God the Three in One, 
And mystic sweet communion 

With those whose rest is won: 
O happy ones and holy! 

Lord, give us grace that we, 
Like them the meek and lowly, 

On high may dwell with Thee. 

Rev. Samuel John Stone, 1866 

NOTE: As originally printed in the author's Lyra Fidelium the 
hymn had seven verses. Of these the third (hereinafter quoted) is 
here omitted as polemical, and the sixth and seventh are combined, 
greatly to their advantage, in one verse. There is, however, no 
change in the text itself. 

Does it not seem quaint that a pronounced High 
Churchman, wishing to teach his people what the Church 
really is, should write for them a hymn embodying prac- 
tically every doctrine concerning the Church he held 
most dear (its divine origin, its unbroken continuity, Its 
catholicity and essential unity, its orthodoxy, its sacra- 
mental grace, its communion with God and with the 
departed saints, its militancy and final triumph), and 
then that his hymn should be welcomed not only by his 
own party but by his Low Church opponents, and by 
almost all communions or denominations or sects that be- 
lieve in the Church at all, quite without regard to the 
particular opinions they hold and promulgate as to 
church history and doctrine, church authority, or church 
organization ? 


It is indeed a very extraordinary happening ; and the 
writer has sometimes asked himself by what magic it 
came about. Was the author " Catholic " in a larger 
sense than he was aware of? It is possible. Or are all 
the denominations of Christians becoming High Church? 
No : that could not be claimed, though all or most have 
felt the effects of the Oxford Movement. The writer 
has concluded that the explanation of the hymn's gen- 
eral acceptance lies in the fact that all its statements of 
doctrine are made in the words and phrases of Scripture 
itself, and thus every denomination is left free to in- 
terpret the statements of the hymn in the same terms 
in which it interprets the texts on which those statements 
are based. 


This hymn was written by the Rev. Samuel John 
Stone, then beginning his ministry as assistant or curate 
in the town of Windsor. Windsor in on the Thames, 
twenty-one miles from London, with the royal castle 
looking down upon it, and across the river, a bit to the 
north, Eton College, the most famous boys' school in 
England. Mr. Stone's work was largely among the 
poorer people in the outskirts, where he had a mission 
chapel of his own. 

He has said that the hymn really grew out of the 
state of feeling aroused by the cc Colenso Controversy." 
Bishop Colenso, of South Africa, had published a book 
denying the historical accuracy of the first five books 
of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch. His metropoli- 
tan bishop, Dr. Gray, deposed him from office, and 
when an appeal to England was taken, Mr. Stone shared 


the intense excitement of the controversy that followed. 
He felt that Colenso was undermining " the Catholic 
faith," approved of Bishop Gray's course, and deplored 
the schism Colenso's followers made in the South Afri- 
can Church, 

That accounts for a heated verse in the hymn as first 
printed, now happily dropped out: 

"The Church shall never perish! 

Her dear Lord to defend, 
To guide, sustain, and cherish 

Is with her to the end: 
Though there be those who hate her, 

And false sons in her pale, 
Against or foe or traitor 

She ever shall prevail: " 

and also for the lines still retained: 

"Though with a scornful wonder 

Men see her sore oppressed, 
By schisms rent asunder, 
By heresies distrest: " 

So much for the hymn's origin; and now for the use 
which its author found for it. He noticed that the cot- 
tagers at Windsor were given to saying the Apostles' 
Creed as one of their private prayers, though without 
clear ideas of what its various articles meant. This sug- 
gested the writing of a series of hymns that would ex- 
plain them, and could be used at home or in the chapel. 
And he printed in 1866 Lyra Fidelium. Twelve Hymns 
on the twelve articles of the Apostles' Creed. By S. J. 
Stone, B. A., Curate oj Windsor. "The Church's one 
Foundation " is headed : 



"The Holy Catholic Church: the Communion of Saints." 
"He is the Head of the Body, the Church." 

and on the opposite page is a prose " Summary of Truths 
confessed in Article IX," followed by what the West- 
minster Catechism would call " the Scripture proofs." 



How far Mr. Stone's cottagers were edified we do not 
know, but the hymn was taken into that same 1868 
Appendix- to Hymns ancient and modern of which we 
have already heard, and there set to the tune " Aurelia " 
to which it has been sung ever since. The statement 
that "Aurelia" was composed for these words is mis- 
taken. It was written earlier as a setting for " Jerusa- 
lem the golden." The conjunction of hymn and tune 
was one of many happy things done by the editors of the 
Appendix, and so joined they at once proceeded on their 
triumphant way to become the marching song of the 
Church. The only danger that threatens the continu- 
ance of that career is the fatigue that waits on too con- 
stant repetition. An English archbishop said that 


wherever called to open or dedicate a church, he could 
always count on two things cold chicken and " The 
Church's one Foundation." To which the obvious retort 
is, " There is nothing better." 


We could wish for a portrait of the young curate who 
wrote the hymn. Perhaps the one we have of his full 
maturity is not less interesting. It is the photograph of 
a sturdy, full-blooded, broad-shouldered and athletic 
English gentleman (English all over). His clothes re- 
veal the clergyman : we might have thought him an ad- 
miral. A physiognomist could " deduce " a good deal 
more from the leonine moulding of the head, the strong 
straight nose, the piercing but kindly eye and general 
air of command : more yet if the photographer had not 
obliterated the lines of character and experience, and 
the little crinkles of humor also that were surely there. 

It is no surprise to learn that he had a quick temper, 
and that like his " gentle " Master, who laid the whip 
on the money changers, he was capable of a righteous 
wrath that was serious. There was an occasion in a 
lonely East End locality when he came upon three black- 
guards attacking a poor unfriended girl. Stone heard 
her cries, rushed to her help, knocked out the first 
man with one blow, turned to the second and trounced 
him until he cried for mercy, and ever after regretted 
that the third got off before he could catch him. He told 
a companion he thanked God he had learned to use his 
fists at Charterhouse and would have given five pounds 
to get at the third rascal's hide. Then, seeing a quiz- 
zical look in his companion's eye and recalling clerical 



proprieties, he burst into hearty laughter directed wholly 
against himself. We all love Don Quixote. 

And Mr. Stone was nearer the ideal of a knight, with 
his innate purity of soul, his chivalry, his hatred of 
wrong, his unselfishness, and his spotless life, than he 
was to the type of the " muscular Christian." He had 
a sensitive temperament, " the muscles of a prize-fighter 
and the nerves of a violin," his doctor said: he was 
emotional and excitable, with an active brain and a very 
tender heart. It was his way to idealize his friends, his 
country, his church, and all womankind; but especially 
his Queen, the type to him of motherhood and sover- 
eignty in one, whom he loved and extolled, and if need 
be defended, with a boyish devotion and heat. 

The boy that continued to live in him till pretty near 
the end was born at Whitmore, Staffordshire, in April, 
1839, an( * had the good fortune for the first thirteen years 
of his life to be a country boy ; his father being parson 
of one and another rural parish. Then his family moved 
to London, and he was sent to the same Charterhouse 
that Thackeray loved and made famous. From there 
he went to Pembroke College, Oxford, and distinguished 
himself in athletics at least, becoming captain of his 
college boat, entered heartily into the Volunteer Move- 
ment just beginning, and made a try for the poetry prize. 
The boy's whole bent was toward soldiering, and it was 
only the " one clear call for me " that turned the man's 
face toward the ministry. 

His began in 1862 with a curacy at Windsor of nearly 
eight years. Then he went back to London to help his 
father in an East End parish, St. Paul's, Haggerston. It 
was a thickly populated parish without a well-to-do 
person within its bounds, its worst street on the lowest 


stratum of London poverty. And in it Mr. Stone, first 
as his father's assistant and then as his successor, spent 
twenty years of pastoral life, unselfishly laboring from 
early morning till late at night to meet the spiritual 
needs of his parishioners, to educate their children in the 
parish schools, and to get a bit of brightness into hard 
lives. His combination of virility and sympathy gave 
him real power over the people. He was a "churchman 
rather than a missionary, a shepherd rather than an evan- 
gelist; and St. Paul's, Haggerston, was the door of the 
fold. But there was none of the ritualism there with 
which many earnest workers appeal to the East End. 

In a bit of garden back of the parsonage is a dog's 
grave, and this epitaph: 

In the centre of this lawn lies 


a gentleman in all but humanity; thoroughbred, 
single in mind, true of heart; for seventeen years 
the faithful and affectionate friend of his master, 
who loved him, and now for him. " faintly trusts 
the larger Hope," contained, it may be, in Romans 

viii. 19-21. 
He died April 26, 1883. 

It is a memorial of Mr. Stone as well as of Sancho. And 
it reminds us of a similar but much statelier monument 
to a dog in the garden of one of our Walnut Street man- 
sions in Philadelphia, whose doors have never opened 
since the dog's master passed through them, now many 
years ago. 

By 1890 Mr. Stone had worn himself out. An easier 
post was found for him in one of the surviving churches 
of old London "City," All Hallows, London Wall; a 
quaint, musty little church, packed away amid great 


blocks of offices and warehouses, which he first made 
beautiful and then proceeded to make useful, in a parish 
swarming with workers all day and at night populated 
only by care-takers and their families. One use he 
made of the building was criticized, but was much ap- 
preciated by a great number of girls who for economy's 
sake came up to Liverpool Street by the early workmen's 
trains and had to wander about the streets till their 
places of work were opened. He threw the church open 
from 6:30 to 8:30 each morning as a haven in which 
they could sit and wait. Reading of books (not news- 
papers) and sewing were allowed but no talking or eat- 
ing. And to many of the girls the house of rest became 
a house of prayer. 

For the last of his ten years at All Hallows Mr. Stone 
endured the increasing agonies of cancer, and he died 
on November 19, 1900. On the 23rd many of the throng- 
ing business men who hurried by the little church must 
have caught the strains of his funeral hymn, " The 
Church's one Foundation." 

Among his devoted friends Mr. Stone had one, an 
accomplished man of letters, Mr. Coulson Kernahan. 
Resolving to attempt some memorial of a man whom he 
esteemed so great, Mr. Kernahan waited sixteen years, 
for fear that his affection would tempt him to exag- 
gerate, and then printed a graphic characterization of 
Mr. Stone, which the present writer wishes could be 
read by all young people who feel no impulse to follow 
in the train of anaemic saints but can recognize a hero 
even under a tall hat. 

Mr. Kernahan, with a true artist's instinct, discloses 
frankly those frailties or limitations that reveal his 
friend as human, and, as an essential part of him, be- 


come almost lovable : the fixedness of his ideas ; the per- 
fect confidence in his own beliefs and opinions that made 
him seem obstinate; the irascibility of overstrained 
nerves ; an impatience of opposition that made him some- 
times overbearing; a certain hot-headedness that inter- 
fered with cool judgment; his unbending Toryism and 
stiff churchmanship and incapacity of understanding 
how an English gentleman could feel otherwise; and a 
constitutional inability to see anything wrong in those 
he loved and trusted that occasionally got him into 

And then, over these little shadows (how slight they 
are made to seem) Mr. Kernahan throws the light of 
his friend's moral splendor in a tribute as heartfelt and 
as noble as was ever given to mortal man : 

" So brave of heart was he as to make possible for us 
the courage of a Coeur de Lion, so knightly of nature 
as to make possible the honor of an Arthur or a Galahad, 
so nearly stainless in the standard he set himself, in the 
standard he attained, as to come, as near as human flesh 
and blood can come, almost to making possible the 
purity of the Christ." 


i. There is a small group of familiar hymns that do 
not take the form of praise or prayer or exhortation, but 
the form of teaching. They are called didactic hymns, 
and consist of a series of statements setting forth some 
doctrine. This, setting forth the doctrine of the Church, 
Bishop Wordsworth's "Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost," 
expounding the doctrine of Love, and his " O day of 
rest and gladness/' setting forth the history and benefits 
of the Christian Sunday, are examples. 


The number of successful didactic hymns is small. It 
takes a cunning hand and a warm glow to overcome our 
instinct against going to school when we are asked to 
sing praise. Of Mr. Stone's twelve hymns on the Creed, 
only this and " Weary of earth and laden with my sin " 
have come into use, and the latter is hardly didactic. 
But " The Church's one Foundation " uses this form 
and manner triumphantly. What other didactic hymns 
are familiar? 

2. When Mr. Stone printed Lyra Fidelium for his cot- 
tagers, against each line or couplet of the hymns he set 
on the opposite page the texts on which it was based. 
Here are the four texts set opposite the four couplets of 
the first verse of our hymn. 

" Other foundation can no man lay than is laid, which is Jesus 

" Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot 
enter into the kingdom of God." 

" Even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it, 
that He might sanctify and cleanse it." 

" The Church of God which He purchased with His own Blood." 

Some readers might find an interest in supplying 
equally suitable " proof texts " for the other verses. 

3. The weaving of Scriptural truth and church doctrine 
into strains of song was Mr. Stone's special gift in hymn 
writing. His hymns, as gathered shortly before his 
death, number fifty-five, many of which are in use in his 
own communion, not many outside of it. He published 
also three volumes of poetry, creditable to his head 
and heart; but the writer would not care to have Mr. 
Kernahan ask him how many of the leaves in his copies 


have been cut open. He does not find Mr. Stone's poetry 
at all convincing, and he thinks it would be a mistake to 
regard " The Church's one Foundation " as a poem. It 
is good verse and full of feeling, but of spiritual and not 
poetic feeling. So the writer thinks, but the question is 
open for discussion: remembering, however, that while 
rhythm makes verse only imagination makes poetry. 



1 O Love that wilt not let me go, 

I rest my weary soul in Thee; 
I give Thee back the life I owe, 
That in Thine ocean depths its flow 

May richer, fuller be. 

2 O Light that followest all my way, 

I yield my flickering torch to Thee; 
My heart restores its borrowed ray, 
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day 

May brighter, fairer be. 

3 O Joy that seekest me through pain 

I cannot close my heart to Thee; 
I trace the rainbow through the rain, 
And feel the promise is not vain 

That morn shall tearless be. 

4 O Cross that liftest up my head, 

I dare not ask to fly from Thee; 
I lay in dust life's glory dead, 
And from the ground there blossoms red 

Life that shall endless be. 

Rev. George Matheson, 1882 

NOTE: The text is taken from The Scottish Hymnal of 1885, with 
the change in one line made for that book by the author. 



One of ^ the effects of the High Church Movement in 
Episcopalian England, whose hymns we have been study- 
ing, was to make a considerable number of the clergy of 
Presbyterian Scotland very much dissatisfied with the 
architecture and worship of their parish churches and the 
meager allowance of hymns which supplemented the 
metrical Psalms. They formed a Church Service So- 
ciety which brought about many changes, and they put 
through The Scottish Hymnal, with Dr. Monk, who had 
done such great things in Hymns ancient and modern, 
in charge of its musical side. This book changed the 
face of hymnody in the Church of Scotland to the 
Anglican model. The enlarged edition of the book in 
1885 gave to the Church for the first time the hymn 
we are now studying with its " proper tune " ; the words 
having appeared in a church periodical a year or so be- 
fore. So there is just that much connection (and no 
more) between the High Church Movement and the 
present hymn. 


The hymn was written by the Rev. George Matheson, 
minister of the parish of Innellan in the Church of 

Dr. Matheson was a large and many-sided personality, 
of a powerful mind touched with genius, of great at- 
tainments and with a distinguished career. It may 
therefore seem far fetched to present him here as the 
author of a single hymn, which in fact was thrown off in 
a few minutes, as though the hymn was the center of his 
career and his most characteristic performance. And 
yet such is the simple truth. 


Very much the same thing happened in the case of the 
great poet, Tennyson, to whom " Sunset and Evening 
Star " came without volition and was also thrown off in 
a few minutes. The poet at once recognized it as the 
crown of his art and the measure of his faith, and di- 
rected that it be printed at the close of every edition of 
his works, as their culmination. 

Dr. Matheson's whole personality and deepest experi- 
ences are Behind the hymn: it is the most perfect 
expression of the man at his highest : and it is the high- 
water mark in his career as a writer. He was constantly 
printing religious verses, and yet he knew quite well 
that this hymn was a thing apart. Its writing, he said, 
was " to me a unique experience. I have no natural 
gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written 
are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring 
from on high. I have never been able to gain once more 
the same fervor in verse." 

We have his own account of the circumstances: 

" My hymn was composed in the manse of Innellan, 
on the evening of 6th June, 1882. I was at that time 
alone. It was the day of my sister's marriage, and the 
rest of the family were staying over night in Glasgow. 
Something had happened to me, which was known only 
to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental 
suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It 
was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I 
had the impression rather of having it dictated to me by 
some inward voice than of working it out myself. I am 
quite sure that the whole work was completed in five 
minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my 
hands any retouching or correction. The Hymnal Com- 
mittee of the Church of Scotland desired the change of 


one word. I had written originally < I climbed the rain- 
bow in the rain.' They objected to the word ' climb ' 
and I put in ' trace. 7 " 

The nature of the personal sorrow behind the hymn 
Dr. Matheson did not disclose, and we may respect his 
reticence. The statement one has read that it was the 
failure of the love of the woman to whom he was engaged 
on learning the doctor's verdict of impending blindness, 
her curt refusal " to go through life with a blind man," 
may be ignored, as he had been " a blind man " for 
twenty-five years. 

The success of the hymn was largely due to the 
tune " St. Margaret," written for it by Dr. Albert L. 
Peace, then organist of Glasgow Cathedral and musical 
editor of The Scottish Hymnal of 1885. He did for 
Matheson's words what Dr. Dykes's " Lux Benigna " 
did for Cardinal Newman's " Lead, kindly Light." It 
was his habit to carry about with him the words of the 
hymns for which tunes were needed. Sitting on the 
sands of Arran and reading these, he tells us, the tune 
came upon him like a flash, and, taking out his pencil, 
he wrote it off in a few minutes. 

For a while the use of the hymn was confined to the 
Church of Scotland and its preaching stations on the con- 
tinent of Europe and elsewhere. From more than one 
of these word came to the present writer, while prepar- 
ing The Hymnal of 1895, f tne deep impression hymn 
and music had made upon one or another American 
tourist, with an earnest request that they might not fail 
of a place in the new book. Such a letter from as far 
as Cairo, dated in April of 1895, lies under the writer's 
eye as he pens these words. 



George Matheson was born in Glasgow, March 27, 
1842 ; the son of a prosperous merchant there. His was 
not therefore the heritage of poverty out of which so 
many eminent Scottish clergymen have won their way. 
There are, however, far worse handicaps than poverty, 
and one of them is blindness. Even as a child his sight 
was impaired by inflammation back of his eyes. At school 
he could still read by the aid of powerful glasses, but 
from his entrance to the University of Glasgow in 1857, 
his sight failed him altogether, and we have to think 
of a buoyant and eager boy, the best student in his 
school, with all a scholar's instincts and ambitions, fac- 
ing a life fettered if not thwarted. He entered at once 
the spiritual struggle his situation made inevitable, he 
put to Heaven the old and unanswered question of why a 
catastrophe so undeserved should befall him. Happily 
he stood the test of his faith and won the Christian se- 
cret of submission and something already of the self- 
surrender of which his beautiful hymn was to sing, 

Matheson's blindness has been regarded by some as 
an endowment, a blessing in disguise, that made possible 
all that he became and the real spiritual influence he 
exerted. Others regard it as seriously affecting his full 
development, and as the obstacle that prevented his 
becoming the great Scottish churchman of his time, and 
the spiritual leader of his generation. Who can say? 
What we know is that he had a brave and useful life, 
became a successful preacher of a very high order, and 
by his devotional and other books influenced for good a 
great number of people. Looking back upon his career, 


he himself called it " an obstructed life, a circumscribed 
life, but a life of boundless sanguineness, a life of quench- 
less hopefulness, a life which has beaten persistently 
against the cage of circumstance, and which even at the 
time of abandoned work has said not ' Good night/ but 
* Good morning.' " 

Quite possibly, if he had had his sight, he would have 
followed his inclination to study law. He would have 
proved a great advocate surely, a great lawyer it may be, 
though not so assuredly. As things were he entered the 
ministry of the Church of Scotland, to which his family 
had adhered at the Disruption, and was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Glasgow in June, 1866. 

His first parish was Innellan, then a small place and 
something of a summer retreat, on the Firth of Clyde. 
There was strong opposition to a blind minister; but 
he soon won all hearts, proved a capable pastor, and re- 
mained there for eighteen years, with ever-spreading 
reputation as a preacher of very unusual power, even 
for Scotland, the land of great preachers. 

Dr. Matheson first came before the general public as 
a scientific theologian, with his Aids to the study of Ger- 
man Theology in 1874, and three years later with his 
The 'Growth of the Spirit of Christianity, a brilliant 
book with marked defects. Some of its mistakes were 
pointed out by critics, and its author was charged with 
being an inaccurate student. One of his friends has re- 
ferred to the effect these criticisms had upon the author 
himself. " When he saw that for the purposes of schol- 
arship his blindness was a fatal hindrance, he withdrew 
from the field not without pangs, but finally." 
("Abandoned work" already; and now to "say Good 


He next undertook blithely the task of a reconciler 
between the old faith and the new learning evolution 
and the higher criticism of the Bible. But gradually 
his own mind became tangled in the perplexities and con- 
tradictions he sought to solve, and he could not see his 
way. In the end he turned his back on these problems, 
and apparently on the new learning itself, and retired 
within his own soul to renew the fires of faith and deepen 
the inner life of communion with God. ("Abandoned 
work " again, and again " Good morning. 57 ) His later 
books are expository and devotional; glowing, mystical 
and deeply spiritual, as of a prophet seeing things in- 
visible, and trying to narrate his vision. 

Before leaving Innellan he had the honor, dear to the 
hearts of the clergy of the established Church, of being 
summoned to Balmoral to preach before Her Majesty, 
Queen Victoria, a Presbyterian while residing in Scot- 
land and a communicant in her parish church of Craigie. 
She wrote afterwards that she was " immensely delighted 
with the sermon and the prayers," and with her usual 
thoughtfulness she substituted for the customary signed 
photograph a little bust of herself that the preacher 
could feel. 

In the fulness of his powers Matheson accepted a call 
to Edinburgh, and in March, 1886, was installed as min- 
ister of St. Bernard's Parish Church, with some 1500 
communicants. Here he repeated his earlier success on 
a larger scale, and became a shining light, seen of all 
men, waited upon by great congregations, honored by 
the Scottish universities and esteemed in all the churches. 
We have a description of him in the pulpit of St. Ber- 
nard's, as observed by the Rev. Charles Parkhurst of 
New York: c He enters the pulpit not larger than a 



flour barrel. He has the face and form of General Grant, 
when the hero of Vicksburg was most stout, but is taller. 
With natural open eye you would not have thought he 
was blind. Now he rises, swaying a little until he gets 
his equilibrium. Announcing a Psalm for alternate 
reading, he takes his verses without the mistake of a 
word, and throughout the whole service, calling for sev- 
eral hymns and Scripture references with chapter and 
verse, he never made an error. Then he prays, and such 
a prayer ! It seems profane to write about it. Though 
his sight is eclipsed he does see God, he does see into the 
hearts of his people. For forty minutes he preached on 
the text, " Holy men of God spake as they were moved 
by the Holy Ghost." We were instructed, refreshed, 

Dr. Matheson continued at St. Bernard's for thirteen 
years, when the burden became too heavy. His last 
years were spent in preparing more books and in preach- 
ing at large. He died during a summer holiday at North 
Berwick on August 28, 1906. He had never married, 
and was buried in his family's vault at Glasgow. 


i. The hymn, let it be remembered, is autobiograph- 
ical: the consecration of a great soul rising above the 
despondency caused by a calamity. If sung at all by 
the average Christian it should be sung very prayerfully. 
To sing it flippantly would be an act of pure hypocrisy. 
Even so its full meaning cannot be grasped without 
study. It seems worth while, therefore, to print here an 
analysis made by the Rev. Sydney Smith of Keith shortly 
after Dr. Matheson's death: 


" The unceasing appeal which the love of God makes 
to the soul, the truth that God loved us into being, that 
as we owe our life to Him, so it is only in love of Him 
that we find rest, only in service of Him that our life 
attains fullness these are the thoughts with which 
the singer starts on his flight: 

" Love that wilt not let me go, 
I rest my weary soul in Thee; 
I give Thee back the life I owe, 
That in Thine ocean depths its flow 
May richer, fuller be. 

" That whatever light we have is but a spark from the 
central fire, that the divine Light ever shines and never 
fades, that the unsteady little lights by which we grope 
may sometimes dim its dawning glory, that by quench- 
ing them so as to let the Eternal Light shine, it does 
shine more and more unto the perfect day, that in God's 
light we see light are some of the ideas to which the 
poet next gives expression : 

" Light that f ollowest all my way, 
I yield my flickering torch to Thee; 

My heart restores its borrowed ray, 

That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day 
May brighter, fairer be. 

" Then the poet, turning his eye inward, is conscious 
of a mysterious joy mingling with and transfiguring his 
grief, a joy which, however absorbed he is in sorrow, 
will force itself upon him again and again, he sees a 
shimmer of meaning and mercy in the darkness of his 
lot, he beholds a bow in the cloud, giving assurance that 
the destroying flood will cease. 


" Joy that seekest me through pain, 

I cannot close my heart to Thee; 
I trace the rainbow through the rain, 
And feel the promise is not vain 

That morn shall tearless be. 

" The poet is convinced that it is so. As in the Light 
that 'followeth all his way,' he sees his cross to be 
his crown, he must not impatiently ask deliverance from 
the burden, he entreats power to make in the spirit of 
trust the sacrifice to which God plainly calls him: 

" I lay in dust life's glory dead, 
And from the ground there blossoms red 
Life that shall endless be." 

It was in allusion to these last lines that a group of 
clergymen, who had sometime served as Dr. Matheson's 
assistants, sent to his funeral a wreath of red roses. 

2. When Dr. Matheson is made to state that he origi- 
nally wrote " I climbed the rainbow in the rain," we 
have perhaps an illustration of how hard it is for a blind 
scholar to secure entire accuracy. He must have meant 
" climb," one would think. Shall we agree with the 
Scottish Hymnal Committee that " I trace the rainbow 
through the rain " is the better line? 

3. While speaking of accuracy it may be as well to 
note that the fourth word of the hymn, so often printed 
" will," is " wilt," and that it could not be anything else. 
It is only a seasoned poet, such as Dr. Holmes was, who 
would venture to print, 

"0 Love Divine, that stooped to share." 

A poet whose reputation was still in the making would 
probably have heard and heeded the call to write 
" stoopedest." But what a mouthful it is! 



1 God be with you till we meet again, 

By His counsels guide, uphold you, 
With His sheep securely fold you, 
God be with you till we meet again. 
Till we meet, till we meet, 
Till we meet at Jesus' feet; 
Till we meet, till we meet 
God be with you till we meet again. 

2 God be with you till we meet again, 

'Neath His wings protecting hide you, 
Daily manna still divide you, 
God be with you till we meet again. 
Till we meet, etc. 

3 God be with you till we meet again, 

When life's perils thick confound you, 
Put His arms unfailing round you, 
God be with you till we meet again. 
Till we meet, etc. 

4 Gpd be with you till we meet again, 

Keep love's banner floating o'er you, 
Smite death's threatening wave before you, 
God be with you till we meet again. 
Till we meet, etc. 

Rev. Jeremiah Eames Rankin, 1880 


We have now completed the studies of what we may 
call nineteenth century church hymns, and they have 
shown a progressive movement to improve the literary 
quality of the hymnody and to make it more " churchly." 

But the tale is not yet told. The Church included a 
goodly proportion of those plain people of whom " God 
made so many " ; who are loyal, but without special ad- 
diction to culture or churchliness. And among them 
began the movement, with which we are all familiar, to 
supplement the church hymns with popular religious 
songs, of a lighter type of words and music. From the 
evangelistic hymn book of Mr. Moody's campaign, the 
new songs took the name of " Gospel Hymns," and in 
course of time some of them have become very " Familiar 
Hymns." With a representative of these our studies 
may fitly close : most fitly perhaps with " God be with 
you," because it is the most familiar and because it is 
also a song at parting. 


The hymn was written by a Congregationalist clergy- 
man, Dr. Jeremiah Eames Rankin, while a pastor in 
Washington, D. C. After it became popular he was often 
asked about its origin. If his correspondents expected 
to hear that it came forth from a fine frenzy of feeling 
or under romantic circumstances, they must have been 
disappointed with his reply. At all events we have the 
actual facts from the author's own pen. 

This is from a letter to Mr. H. Porter Smith, about 

" God be With You, like most of my hymns and poems, 
was the product of a cool purpose, and not the result of 






any experience or feeling. The thought that that was 
the meaning of our honest and hearty greeting, ' Good 
by ' was the germ of it. I tried to put into a hymn that 
thing, making it Christian instead of common. I was 
at the time getting up a gospel hymn book for use in my 
church in Washington, at the night service. 

". Having written one stanza, I sent it to the author of 
What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and also to another 
man, some of whose melodies had pleased me. This 
last gentleman, Mr. Tomer, sent me back the present 
music of the hymn. It was put into shape a little 
arranged, perhaps musicians would call it though very 
little was done to it, by one of my co-editors, the accom- 
plished blind organist, Dr. J. A. [It should be W.] 
Bischoff, of my church in Washington. I then wrote 
the other stanzas." 

" I have been told/' Dr. Rankin said elsewhere, " that 
it is publicly stated that this hymn was written on the 
departure of a certain temperance evangelist to Europe. 
This is wholly a mistake. The above is a complete 
history of its origin." 

And this is from an article Dr. Rankin sent to The 
Christian Endeavor World, in 1894: 

" The hymn never was so much used by the First Con- 
gregational Church as by all the rest of the world. With 
the exception of the Sunday night service, it was almost 
never sung. I think the Methodists at Ocean Grove first 
began to glorify it. This they carried to such an extent 
that on the last day of one of their camp meetings a 
member of my family heard it sung five successive times, 
as the closing hymn of five different assemblies there." 
He goes on to speak of his gratification at its adoption 
by the Christian Endeavor Society. 




Dr. Rankin did good service in his day, and was re- 
garded by Ms friends as a man of unusual gifts. He 
wrote a number of books and became a college president. 
But to the general public his name survives simply as 
associated with a single hymn. 

The son of a Congregationalist clergyman, he was 
born on January 2, 1828, in the hamlet of Thornton, 
that lies by its little river in the hill country of New 
Hampshire. At twenty he was graduated by Middlebury 
College, in the neighbor state of Vermont, which after- 
wards gave him its highest degrees, and chose him to 
preside over its centennial as a distinguished son. Later 
in life Dr. Rankin became president of the Howard 
University in Washington, D. C, founded after the Civil 
War to help in the higher education of the Negro. He 
was interested all his life in the advancement of the 
colored people, and here he spent his last years of active 
service. Retiring in 1902 to the home of his daughter 
in Cleveland, there he died on November 28, 1904. 

Dr. Rankin had a Scotch pedigree, a great love of 
Robert Burns, a ready pen of his own, and an early ambi- 
tion to make his mark in poetry; all of which things 
showed themselves in his first book, in the Scottish 
dialect, Auld Scotch Mither. Throughout life the writ- 
ing of verse continued to be his avocation. But his real 
vocation was in preaching and pastoral work. He served 
many Congregational churches in New England, New 
York, and New Jersey. One can picture, above the pul- 
pit, his square face topped with the luxuriant head of 
dark brown hair, and the piercing eyes underneath the 
heavy brows, giving it such an intense look. One can 


almost hear the deep voice speaking rapidly his char- 
acteristic short, sharp sentences with all his Scottish 
fervor and conviction. 

The pastorate that concerns us most was at the First 
Congregational Church of Washington. It was one of 
those churches started under the conviction that one's 
own denomination ought to have a representative at the 
nation's capital; and General Oliver 0. Howard, of 
Civil War fame, traveled all over the country raising 
money to build it. Dr. Rankin came as pastor in 1869, 
His fervid preaching at once drew a large congregation, 
and the evenings gave Mm opportunity to conduct those 
informal evangelistic services, for which, as we have seen, 
his hymn was written. 


We might indeed say that the composer of the music 
to " God be with you " was co-author of the hymn 
itself, for one can hardly think of the words, much less 
sing them, apart from Mr. Tomer's melody. 

William Gould Tomer was not a trained musician. 
His only education was had at the public school of a 
hamlet, in Warren County, New Jersey (now known as 
Finesville). There he was born on October 5, 1833, of 
Methodist stock, German on his father's side. And 
there, at the age of seventeen, he ceased to be a scholar 
in the village school by becoming its teacher. He was 
a country boy who loved music, who could carry his 
part in the old-time singing school and lead the village 
choir on a Sunday. He had taught himself to play the 
bass viol and violin, and wrote musical sketches that 
revealed a distinct gift for melody. 


The Civil War interrupted Ms teaching. In 1862 he 
enlisted as a private and was detailed as clerk to General 
Howard. On his return home he taught school again, 
until, in 1865, appointed a clerk in one of the depart- 
ments at Washington, where he served for some seven- 
teen years. 

There Dr. Rankin met him, and formed a pleasant 
impression of his musical gift. In Washington he did 
some newspaper work, and in later years was editor of 
one and another local newspaper in New Jersey towns. 
At the time of his death, September 26, 1896, in Phil- 
lipsburg, where his home was, he was editing The Hunter- 
don Gazette, published in the neighboring High Bridge, 
New Jersey. And it is a leading article in that news- 
paper, for October i, 1896, that has made possible this 
present sketch of Mr. Tomer's life. 

He is described as a figure of five feet ten, of bulky 
frame, with " a smooth Henry Ward Beecher face, large 
head, gray eyes and a benign countenance "; an attrac- 
tive personality, a general utility man with many bents 
and capacities and a liking to spread his own sunny at- 
mosphere: at his best in his home, where each child 
could play some musical instrument. Very fitly the 
choir of the Phillipsburg Methodist Church sang " God 
be with you " at his funeral ; for that is his memorial, 


i. Dr. Rankin's hymn does not belong to literature 
but to the outlying realm of popular song, where the 
standard is the simpler one of popular effectiveness. It 
ranges with sentimental songs (most effective songs are 
sentimental), boating songs, camp-meeting melodies and 


" gospel hymns." Dr. Rankin regarded it as a * gospel 
hymn/ but In structure and effect it is more like the 
old Negro ' spirituals ' (" Swing low, sweet chariot," for 
instance), that take a melodious phrase for a theme, 
repeat it, play around it, and come back to it with brief 

As sung there are thirty- two lines in all. Of these 
just twelve are the first line over and over again, and in 
twelve other lines " till we meet " is read twenty times 
and sung forty times. Only eight lines are left in which 
to add any thoughts to the original theme, and most of 
these are turned from very familiar Scripture phrases. 
So commonplace are they indeed that one might almost 
say the hymn contains hardly more than the melodious 
first line itself. 

In song, as we all know, the recurrence of the main 
theme as a refrain is an old and effective device. But 
a case so extreme as this seems to invite criticism ; and 
first, from the artistic point of view. Even the simplest 
art should " hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature," 
and in our human intercourse such a prolongation and 
repetition of " Good bye " would be as unnatural as un- 
welcome. Secondly, it invites criticism from a spiritual 
point of view, for the hymn is throughout a prayer ; and 
in prayer we are forbidden to employ " vain repetitions." 
Which probably means that we must not repeat phrases 
mechanically without attending to what We say, or im- 
agine that petitions, if repeated many times, are more 
effective than if said only once. 

The repetitions of the present hymn have not in actual 
experience interfered with the powerful emotional ap- 
peal it has made to a vast company of Christians : they 
have probably consolidated it by diverting the singers 


from the necessity of doing any thinking or even much 
remembering. Wherein does the power of that emo- 
tional appeal lie? 

First 3 in the simple words " Good bye," which the 
opening line draws out so melodiously and the added 
lines perhaps amplify. As Mark Rutherford says in his 
novel, Catharine Furze, " In all parting there is some- 
thing infinite." 

Second, in Mr. Tomer's music, which has the half- 
pathetic strain loved by young people in their college 
and other songs. In its way the music is quite remark- 
able in suggesting the bright hopes and vague shadows 
that lurk around " good-bye." Whether into the dark 
or into the light, it's " God be with you " where we can- 
not go ! And so the melody flows on and turns back ; now 
loud and clear at the doorway where we separate, now 
lessening with the lengthening roads that bear us apart, 
now as a last refrain, so faint, so far, and, then, remem- 
bered music. 

2. Dr. Rankin was somewhat vehement in protesting 
against any alteration of his hymn. One " tinker," he 
said, printed " Pui^ His loving arms around you " in 
place of " Put His arms unfailing round you " : " an idea 
unpleasant and out of taste, besides being unscriptural : 
as in the Bible the arms always signify strength, espe- 
cially when applied to Jehovah." Is he right as to the 
Biblical usage? 

Another " tinker " printed " still provide you " in 
place of " still divide you," intended to suggest Christ's 
breaking and distribution of bread. This tinker, Dr. 
Rankin said, might have served as a butler or com- 

3. When in 1889 Dr. Rankin printed his Hymns pro 


Patria, he doubled the length of this, adding four verses. 
Could there have been a call for forty additional repeats 
of " Till we meet " ? And was there no kindly hand 
raised to prevent the printing of this final verse? 

" God be with you till we meet again, 
Ended when for you earth's story, 
Israel's chariot sweep to glory: 
God be with you till we meet again." 

4. In concluding these studies of hymn origins, the 
writer wonders how many readers have come so far with 
him, and if any has learned to turn a more interested 
eye on his church hymnal ; and especially if he has yet 
begun to notice the inconspicuous note to each hymn 
and tune that discloses its authorship and date, and the 
state of the hymn's text. The writer would like to tell 
the story of all that was involved in preparing the notes 
to this hymn and tune as one illustration of the pains- 
taking that goes into a good hymnal. For the sake of 
directness he will tell it in the first person. 

When I wrote Dr. Rankin for permission to use words 
and music in The Hymnal of 1895, I asked for the cor- 
rect date of each. He replied that he could not tell 
" without great inconvenience and loss of time.' 7 He 
did not even know Mr. Tomer's full name or address. 
So both hymn and tune went in without a date. Soon 
after I secured for the tune a date I thought trustworthy 
(as it was) ; and so in the second edition it was dated 
1880. In correcting the plates for a fourth printing 
this date was struck out through some misunderstanding, 
and hymn and tune appeared once more without any 
date. Then I came upon a quotation from a letter of 
Dr. Rankin, saying that both were written in 1882. Sup- 


posing he had looked up the matter at last, that date 
was given to both words and music in the edition of 
The Hymnal printed in 1899, an d was kept when The 
Hymnal revised was published in 1911, and printed there 
till now. 

One day in May., 1921, I was looking over a poor lot 
of old gospel ' song books in Highlands' second-hand 
book store on Arch Street, Philadelphia, and came upon 
one called Gospel Bells. Its editors were named as 
" Prof. J. W. Bischoff, Otis F. Presbrey and Rev. J. E. 
Rankin, D.D.," and it was published in Chicago, 1880. 
Here plainly was the song book that Dr. Rankin and his 
blind organist prepared for the evangelistic services at 
Washington, and here, surely enough, was " God be with 
you," on page 51, words and music, just as it is sung 
now. Sometimes these books are dated ahead, for 
reasons publishers know. But this particular copy has 
a penciled note stating that it was bought " Nov. 1880." 
So we have at last the correct date of the first printing 
of our hymn and tune. And the Hymnal plates will 
have to be altered once more. 


[Titles of books, etc., in Italics.] 

Abney, Sir Thomas, 30 
Addison, Joseph, 20 
Advent, Second, 211, 215, 248 
Aids to the Study of German 

Theology, 273 
Ainsworth's Psalter, 10 
Alden, John and Priscilla, 10 
Alexander, Mrs. Cecil Frances: 

her hymn, " There is a green 
hill far away," 220-231 

sketch of, 226, 

portrait of, 222 

autograph verse of, 225 
Alexander, Rev. James W., 219 
Alexander, Archbishop William, 

226, 227, 229 
Alice in Wonderland, 226 
All Hallows, London Wall, 263, 


Allen, Ethan, 76 
Allen, James, 93, 98, 99, 101, 

102, 103 

Amatory hymns, 40, 08 
American Colonies: 

The Wesley s in, 36, 120 

Whitefield in, 49, Si, 82, 120 

Toplady and, 120 
American Revolution, The, 138 
Anglican Hymnology, 241 
Apostles' Creed, The, 224, 258, 

Argyll, the Duke of, 219 
Arminianism, 46, 49, 50, no, 


Ash worth, Caleb, 65 
Auld Scotch Mither, 284 
Aurelia (tune), 259 
Autumn (tune), n 

Bacon, Rev. Leonard W., 129 
Baker, Rev. Sir Henry Williams, 

21, 243 

Balerma (tune), 21, 179 

Balmoral, 274 

Barnby, Sir Joseph, 206 

Bartholomew, 253 

Barton, William, 18 

Bath, 100 

Beauties of Dr. Watts, &c., 159 

Bedford, Duchess of, 169 

Benediction (tune), 254 

Bernard of Cluny, 211 


Genevan, 9 

language of, in hymns, 257, 

"Bible only, The," 4, 24, 

"Bible Songs," 4 
Bible Hymn Book, The, 215 
Bischoff, J. W., 282, 290 
Blaikie, Rev. Wm, Garden, 208 



Blair, Robert, 184 
Blair, Samuel, 87 ' 
Bonar, Rev. Horatius: 

his hymn, " I heard the 
voice of Jesus say," 207- 
his other hymns, 212, 213, 

215, 251 
sketch of, 209 
portrait of, 208 
autograph of his hymn, 214 
his popularity, 215 
criticisms of, 216 
his place among hymn 

writers, 218 

Book of Common Praise, 203 
Book of Common Prayer, 
of i$49> 5 
of 1552, 5, 8 

its prose system of Psalm- 
ody, 8 

Calvin's influence on, 5 
hymns bound up with, 179 
Borthwick, Jane, 219 
Bourgeois, Louis, 4, 6 
Bradbury, William B., 206 
Braddock's defeat, 88 
Brandon, Vt., 121 
Breviary, The, 5, 140 
Bridges, Robert, 152 
Brierley, J., 23 
Brighton, 196, 201, 250 
Broad Church, 196 
Brooks, Bishop Phillips, 226 
Brownlie, Rev. John, 219 
Bruce, Michael, 219 
Bryant, William Cullen, 152 
Buckingham, Duchess of, 94 
Bullinger (tune), 244 
Bunhill Fields, 166 
Burder, George, 158 
Burns, Rev. James Drummond, 
205, 219 

Burns, Robert, 284 
Burrington Combe, 113, 114 
Byrom, John: 

his hymn " Christians, 
awake ! ", 56-67 

sketch of, 57-62 

portrait of, 59 

autograph of, 63 

and the Wesleys, 57-60 

his shorthand, 58, 60 

his epigram, 62 

his daughter Dolly, 62, 64 

Caersalem (tune), 77, 78 

Cairns, Principal, 212 

Cairo, 271 

Calm Address to the American 

Colonies , 120 
Calvin, John: 
portrait of, 3 
at Geneva, 2-5 
inaugurates singing of metri- 
cal Psalms, 4 
provides the tunes, 4, 6 
his Psalm Book, 4, 6, 7, 8, 


his prescription of "Bible 
[songs] only," viii, 4, 14, 
20, 83, 178 
his distrust of human hymns, 

4, 83 
his influence on English 

Reformation, 4, 5, 8 
his influence on Scottish 

Reformation, 17, 175, 178 
Calvinistic Methodist Church, 70 

in English Reformation, 5 
in Scottish Reformation, 17 
of Francis Rous, 18 
of Church of England, in 
of Whitefield; and his 

breach with the Wesleys, 

46, 49, 50, 69, 106 



of the Evangelicals, 106, 108, 

131, 143, 195, 248 
of Lady Huntingdon, 96, 

106, 131 

of the Welsh Revival, 69, 7 
of The Gospel Magazine, 


of Toplady, 110-112, 156 
of Olney Hymns, 131, i34> 

144, 149 
of Bonar, 218 
Cannongate, 212 
Cape Cod Folks, 233, 244 
Cataract of Lodore, 218 
Catechizing, 132, 253 
Catharine Furze, 288 
Catholic Revival, The, 221, 223, 

224, 235, 236, 246, 
Cennick, John: 

his hymn, " Children of the 
Heavenly King," 45-55? 

his strange experience, 46 
his portrait and autograph, 


his hymns, 50, 233, 
his relations with the Wes- 

leys, 46, 49, 50 

Centennial of American Inde- 
pendence, 119, 121, 129 
of " Rock of Ages," 121 
of the Constitution, 122 
" Centennial Hymn " (Whit- 
tier's), 128 

Chadwick, Rev. John White, 128 
Chalmers, Dr. Thomas, 211 
Chalmers' Memorial, Edinburgh, 


Charles I, 17 

Charleston, Wesley at, 36 
Charterhouse, The, 260, 262 
Children's Hymns: 
(otherworldly), 30 
Watts's, 231 

C. Wesley's, 231 

Ann and Jane Taylor's, 231 

Mrs. Alexander's (churchly), 

224, 226, 230 
Bonar's, 212, 213 
The fault in, and the 

remedy, 229-231 
Choir tunes, 67 

Christian Endeavor Society, 282 
Christian Endeavor World, The, 


Christian Year, The, 227 
Christian Psalmist, The, 189 

(two) Christmas hymns as- 
sociated with the Wes- 
leys, 57 
" Christmas Day for Dolly," 


hymns and carols, 66 
English carol singing, 65 
and Epiphany, 190 
Church, The: 
doctrine of, 256 
its fluctuations, 242 
Miss Elliott's conception of, 


Church Hymns, 252, 254, 
(Church of England, see England 
Church of Scotland, see Scotland 
Church Service Society, 269, 
"Churchly" hymns, 223, 230, 

239* 242, 247, 252, 
Civil War, English, 17 

American, 125, 126, 129, 286 
Clark, Rev. Samuel, 169 
Clarke, Rev. Adam, 190 
Colenso controversy, 257, 258 
'Coleshill (tune), 177 
'Collection of Hymns for the 
people called Methodists, 38, 

Colin and Phoebe, 58 
Communion, Holy, 246 



Communion Hymns, 90, 91, 180, 


in England: 

retain metrical Psalmody, 24 
decay of the_ Psalmody, 24, 

introduce hymns (Watts) , 

27, 36, 158 
stay apart from the Revival, 

Doddridge as their leader, 


decline of, 171, 172 
in America: 
inherit metrical Psalmody, 


introduce Watts's "Psalms 
and Hymns " at the Great 
Awakening, 82 
in Washington, 28.5 
Converse, Charles C. (com- 
poser of "What a Friend"), 

Conyers, Rev. Richard, 150 
Cooke and Denton's Church 

Hymnal, 94, 102, 103 
Coronation (tune), 160, 166 
Cotterill, Rev. Thomas, 66, 118 
Courtship of Miles Standish, 

The, 10 

Cousin, Anne Ross, 219 
Cowper, William: 

his hymn, " God moves in a 

mysterious way," 142-153 

how he came to Olney, 143 

and Newton, 134, 143, 146, 


portrait of, 145 
his part in Olney Hymns, 

^147, 148, 152 
his insanity, 144, 146, 148, 

his poems, 149 

Cradlebow, Lute, 233, 244 
Craigie Church, 274 
Cranmer, Thomas, 5 
Crewe Green, 252 
Crockett, Samuel R., 177 
Cromwell, Oliver, 13 
Curtis, George William, 32 
Cuyler, Rev: Theodore L., 187, 

212, 224, 

Cymbeline, 118 

Dartmouth, Lord, 133, 138 
Dartmouth College, 138 
Davies, Rev. Samuel: 

his hymn, " Lord I am 

Thine," 80-92; 
sketch of, 87-90 
autograph of, 89 
portrait of, 85 
the first American Presby- 
terian hymn writer, 83-87, 
introduces hymn singing in 

Virginia, 84 
his Sermons, 86, 90 
at Princeton, 88 
his allusion to Washington, 

Death in the older Evangelical 

hymnody, 30 
Declaration of Independence, 119, 


Dialogue, Hymns in, 50, 51, 233 
Dickens, Charles, 32, 217 
Dictionary of Hymnology, Jul- 
ian's, 161; (quoted), 44, 203 
Didactic hymns, 265 
Dismissal (tune), 78 
Disruption of Church of Scot- 
land, 271 
"Dissenting interest," decline of, 


Divine Songs for the use of 
Children, 231 


Dobell's New Selection of 
Hymns, 159, 161 

Doddridge, Rev. Philip: 

his hymn, "O God of 
Bethel, by whose hand," 
sketch of, 1 68 
portrait of, 170 
his Rise and Progress, 171 
his Family Expositor, 171 
his Hymns, 168, 172, 179 
and Watts, 27, 168, 171 
and the Revival, 171 
and Whiteneld, 171 
and Lady Huntingdon, 172 

Dog's Monument The, in Lon- 
don and in Philadelphia, 263 

Douglass, Canon, 21 

Drawyer's Church, 87 

Duf&eld, Rev. George, 219 

Duffield, Rev. Samuel W., 241 

Duncan, Canon, 54, 215 

Duncan, Rev. John, 159, 161 

Dundee (tune), 21, 179 

Dunn, Rev. Robinson P., 219 

Duquesne, Fort, 88. 

Dutch Psalmody in England, 

Dykes, Rev. John Bacchus, 76, 
254, 271 

East Grinstead, 235, 236 

Easter, 102, 165 

Eastern Church, hymns of the, 


Dr. Blaikie at, 208 

Bonar at, 211 

Matheson at, 274 
Edinburgh Review, 187 
Edward VI, 5, 8 
Edwards, Rev. Jonathan, 88 
Eighteenth century hymns, 40, 


Election, Doctrine of, 49, in 
Ellers (tune), 254 
Ellerton, Rev. John: 

his hymn, " Saviour again 
to Thy dear Name we 
raise," 245-254 
sketch of, 247 
portrait of, 249 
autograph of, 251 
reference to, 43 
Eliot, George, 30 
Elizabeth, Queen, 24 
Elliott, Charlotte: 

her hymn, "Just as I am," 

194-206, 221 
sketch of, 196 
portrait of, 197 
autograph of, 199 
Elliott, Rev. Henry V., 201, 203 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 151 
England, Church of: 

adopts Calvin's ideals of 

Psalmody, 4-7 
but retains its prose 

Psalter also, 8 
continues Psalm singing 
through Elizabeth's reign, 

also after the Puritan Revo- 
lution, 17-18, 24 
and John Wesley (he prints 
its first hymn book) 36- 
38, 105 

and Lady Huntingdon (who 
introduces hymns) 94- 

97> i3i 
and the Evangelicals (their 

hymns and hymn books) 

106, 108, 131, 143, 146, 

195, 248 
it clings to the metrical 

Psalms, 105, 133 
its Calvinism vindicated, 

no, in 



in Virginia, 83 
its parish system, 250 
and the High Church Move- 

the effect on worship, 246 
the Churchly hymns, 221- 
223, 230, 239, 242, 247, 

its Catholic Revival, and the 
Old Church hymns, 235- 

English Hymns (Duffield), 241 
" Enthusiasm," 105, 106 
Epiphany, 190 
Epworth, 34, 36 
Eton College, 18, 257 
Evangelical Magazine, The, 161 
Evangelical Revival: 

the breach with Methodism, 

49, 50, 69, 96 
Whitefield's leadership of, 

50, 52, 69, yo 5 7i 96 
Lady Huntingdon's part, 96, 

its Calvinism, 46, 49, 50, 96, 

106, 110-112, 131 
its spiritual experiences, 46- 


its hymns, 46 
at OIney, 133 
the Evangelical or Low 

Church Party, 106, 108, 

131, 143, 195, 248 
the Evangelical Succession, 


in Wales, 69, 70 
in America, 81-84 
and the Independents, 171 
Evangelistic hymns, 280 

Faber, Rev. Frederick W., 135 
Familiarities in worship, 40 
Family Expositor, The, 171 
Famous Hymns and their Au- 

thors (Jones), 62, 64, 65, 202, 

252, 254 

Ferrers, Earl, 100 
Findlater, Mrs., 219 
Finesville, N. J., 285 
Flemish Psalmody, 10 
Fleshly images in hymns, 40, 98 
Flowers of the Forest (tune), 


Foreign Missions, 189-193 
Fourth of July, 119, 120, 124 
Frankfort, Marian exiles at, 5, 8 
Fraser, Bishop James, 216 
Free Church of Scotland, 210, 


French (tune), 21, 179 
French and Indian War, 88, 91 
French Psalmody, 2, 4, 24 
French Revolution, 186 
Fulneck School, 184, 186, 187, 

188, 189 

Garrick, David, no 
Gates Ajar, 211 

Calvin at, 2, 4, 5, 
English exiles at, 5, 6, 8, 17 
English church formed at, 5 
English Bible translated at, 9 
English Psalm Book begun 

at, 6 

Gentleman's Magazine, The, 74 
Georgia, the Wesleys in, 36 
German Hymn (tune), 54 
German hymns, 4, 36, 223 
Gibbons, Rev. Thomas, 80, 86, 

87, 9 } 9i 

Gladstone, William E., 42, 43 
Glasgow: Cathedral, 271; Mathe- 

son at, 272 ; Presbytery of, 273 
Glassites, The, 98 
Gloria in Excelsis, 71 
Golden Age, The, 226 
Golden Treasury, The, 54 



Good bye, its meaning, 287, 288 

Good Friday, 102 

Gospel Bells, 290 

Gospel Hymns, 134, 212, 244, 

280, 287 
Gospel Magazine, The, 104, 115', 

116, 150, 156, 157, 161, 164, 

Gounod, Charles Frangois, 206, 

Gower John H., (composer of 

" Reliance "), 118, 231 
Grahame, Kenneth, 226 
Grant, Gen. U. S., 276 
Grave, The, 184 
Gray, Bishop, 257, 258 
Great Awakening, The, 81, 82 
Great House at Olney, 133, 148, 


Great Hymns of the Church, 241 
Greathced, Rev. Samuel, 149 
Greek Church and its hymns, 


Green Sleeves (tune), 9 
Gregory, Rev. A. E., 231 
Growth of the Spirit of Christi- 
anity, 273 

Halleluiah, 71 

Harris, Howell, 52, 53, 69, 72, 


Harrison, Rev. Ralph, 65 
Harvard Theological Review, 32 
Hastings, Lady Margaret, 97 
Hastings, Thomas, 118, 219 
Havergal, Frances R., 242, 243 
Havergal, Rev. William H., 117 
Heaven, Hymns of, 30, 31, 32, 

211, 216 

Heber (tune), 213 
Henley, William E., 61 
High Bridge, N. J., 286 
High Church Movement, see 

Oxford Movement 

hymns, 221, 223, 224, 230, 

239, 242, 246, 252, 253 
Holden, Oliver, 160, 166 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 117, 

129, 152, 182, 278 
Hondert Psalmen Dauids, 10 
Hopkins, Edward J., 254 
Hopper, Rev. Edward, 219 
Horder, Rev. W. Garrett, 76, 78 
Horsley (tune), 231 
Hosannah, 71 
Hosannah to the Son of David, 

Hours of Sorrow, 195, 198, 199, 

200, 203 
Howard, Genl. Oliver 0., 285, 


Howard University, 284 
Humphrey, J. D., 168 
Humphreys, Cecil Frances, see 


Hunterdon Gazette, 286 
Huntingdon, Lady: 

her college in Wales, 68, 71, 

78, 96 

her chapels, 71, 96, 97 
and Gibbons, 86 
and Shirley, 94, 100 
and Methodism, 94 
and Whiteneld, 71, 96, 106 
her secession from the 
Church of England, 97, 

her u Connexion," 96, 97 
her hymn singing, 96, 97, 


her hymn books, 71, 100 
and Doddridge, 172 
and Perronet, 165 
Hutchins' Hymnal, 122 
" Hymn of human composure, 
The ": 

favored by Luther, 2, 4 
distrusted by Calvin, 4, 83 



defended by Watts, 26, 27 

employed by Wesley, 36, 37, 

vindicated by the Evangeli- 
cal Revival, 82, 83 

introduced into Church of 
England by u Evangeli- 
cals," 106, 131, 146 

resisted by Presbyterians in 
America, 82, 

resisted by Presbyterians in 
Scotland, 175, 176 

repudiated by some Presby- 
terian denominations, 20 
Hymn Books: 

Early American, Evangelical 
and Unitarian, 182 

Wesley an, 38 

first, of the Church of Eng- 
land, 1 06 

first, of Scotland, 175, 176 

high church, 239 

Sunday school, 30 

evangelistic, 280 

as registering thermometers, 


Hymnal, Presbyterian (of 

its use of the new 
" churchly " hymns, 253 

Key's hymn in, 129 
Hymnal, The (of 1895): 

the standard for reference in 
first series of these Studies, 

in the making, 21, 121, 125, 
149, 271, 289, 

its texts of the hymns, 10 

its tunes 10, 125 

its notes to hymns and 

tunes, 289 
Hymnal revised, The: 

the standard for reference in 
this book, viii 

in the making, 121, 290 
its texts of the hymns, 10, 

20, 44, 66, 117, 140, 152, 

155, 179, 192, 205, 252, 

its tunes, 10, 21, 78, 118, 

121, 166, 179, 206, 231, 

243, 254 

Doddridge's hymns in, 179 
Ellerton's hymns in, 253' 
Hymnal of the Calvinistic 
Methodist Church of the 
U. S. A., 77 
Hymn Lover, The, 76 
Hymn tinkering, 40, 178, 288 

as our response to Scripture, 

used to enforce the Sermon, 

84, 172 

of the 1 8th century, 46, 182 
Dr. Holmes on, 182 
the memorizing of, 54, 231 

amatory, 40 

Centennial, 119, 121, 128 
Children's, see Children's 
of Christian experience, 46 
Churchly, 223, 230, 239, 242, 

247, 252 

Christmas, see Christmas 
Communion, 90, 91, 180, 215 
in dialogue, 50, 51, 233 
didactic, 265 
Easter, 165 
Evangelical, 27, 82, 106, 175, 

195, 204, 218 
evangelistic, 280 
Fourth of July, 119, 122, 


German, 4, 36, 223 
Good Friday, 102 
" Gospel," 134, 212, 244, 280, 




Greek, 238-241 
of heaven, 30-32, 211, 216 
high church, 221, 223, 224, 
230, 239, 242, 246, 252, 


"I and we," 103, 247 
Latin, 140, 238 
Missionary, 192 
Moravian, 36, 40, 50, 97, 
98, 184 

otherworldly, 30, 211, 216 
patriotic, 129 
polemic, 112, 258 
Preshyterian, 179, 218-219 
Welsh, 69-75 

Hymns ancient and modern, 21, 
229, 239, 254, 269 

its " Appendix " of 1868, 240, 

243, 245, 252, 253, 254, 259 

Hymns and Sacred Poems (the 

Wesleys'), 34. 39, 57, 60 
Hymns and Spiritual Songs 

(Watts), 22, 23, 27, 36 
Hymns for Children (C. Wes- 
ley), 230 

Hymns for infant minds, 230 
Hymns for little Children, 220, 

224, 227, 229, 230 
Hymns of the Eastern Church 
translated, 233, 238, 240, 
Hymns of Faith and Hope, 207, 

215, 218 

Hymns of the Nativity, 215 
Hymns on the Lord's Supper, 

115, U7 
Hymns original and translated 

(Ellerton), 252 
Hymns pro Patria, 288, 289 
Hymns that have helped, 177 

" I and we " hymns, 103, 247 

retain metrical Psalmody, 24 

decay of their Psalmody, 24, 


introduce Watts's " Psalms 

and Hymns," 27, 36, 138 

oppose the Great Revival, 


decline of, 171, 172 
Ingham, Rev. Benjamin, 97 
Inghamite Hymnody, 97, 98 
Innellan, 269, 270, 273 
Invalid's Hymn Book, The, 19$, 

198, 200, 203 
Ireland: Church of, 221; Mrs. 

Alexander in, 227 
Irish Presbyterians, 228 
Irving, Rev. Edward, 247, 248 

Jehovah, 75, 76 

Jennings, John, 169 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 106, 120 

Jones, Francis Arthur, 62, 64, 
65, 202, 252, 254 

Jones, James Edmund (com- 
poser of "Walden"), 21, 203 

Jonson, Ben, 151 

Journal of The Presbyterian His- 
torical Society, ion 

Jowett, Rev. Benjamin, 151 

Julian, Rev. John, 44, 161, 203 

Just as I am (tune), 206 

Keble, Rev. John, 221, 227 
Keeler, Grandma, 233 
Kelso, 209, 210, 213, 215 
Kernahan, Coulston, 264, 265, 

Kethe, Rev. William: 

his Psalm, " All people that 
on earth do dwell," i-ii 

sketch of, 8 

Key, Francis S., 129 ' 
Kib worth, 169 
Kiernan, Miss, 198 
Kilmarnock (tune), 177 



King, James, 241 

King's Chapel, 182 

Kipling, Rudyard, 126, 128, 151 

Knox, John, 5, 17 

Latin hymns, 140, 238 

Lawrence, Lord, 177 

Leith, 212, 213, 251 

Lewis, Rev. H. Elvet, 75 

Lining the Psalm, 26 

Lisbon, 172 

Liverpool: Newton at, 137; 

Montgomery at, 189 
Livingstone, David, 177 
Lock Hospital, 106 
Log College (tune), 125 
Logan, Rev. John, 168, 178, 


The Moravians in, 37> 4 
Cennick at, 47 
Toplady at, no 
Newton at, 138 
Doddridge at, 168 
Evangelicals, 248 
Stone at, 138 
East End, 262, 263 
" City," 263, 264 
Irving at, 247, 248 
Londonderry, 228 
Long Metre, 6 
Longfellow, Henry W., 10, 23, 


Lowell, James Russell, 152 
Low Church Party, 106, 108, 

131, 143, 195, 248 
Luther and his hymns, 2, 5, 75, 


Lux Benigna (tune), 76, 271 
Lyra Fidelium, 256, 258, 266 

Macaulay, Lord, 187 
Macbeth, 205 

Mcllvaine, Bishop Charles P., 


Maclaren, Ian, 14 
McLean, Sally Pratt, 233 
MacLeod, Rev. Norman, 219 
Madan, Rev. Martin, 106, 146 
Makemie, Rev. Francis, 88, 90 
Malan, Rev. Caesar, 196, 200, 


Mar Saba, 241 
March, Rev. Daniel, 219 
Market Harborough, 169 
Marlowe, Christopher, 141 
Marot, Clement, 4 
Mary, Queen, 5, 6, 8, 17 
Mason, Lowell, 78, 206 
Matheson, Rev. George: 

his hymn, " Love that 
wilt not let me go," 268- 

portrait of, 275 

sketch of, 272 

Maurice, Rev. Frederick D., 248 
Mayor, J. E. B., 152 
Merry Wives of Windsor, 9 
Meditation (tune), 231 
Medley, Rev. Samuel, 161 
Memorizing of hymns, 54, 231 
Mendelssohn Collection, 206 

Movement, 34, 37, 38 

Societies, 38 

hymns, 37, 38, 39 

hymn books, 36, 38, 39 

Hymnal, 79 

as a nickname for Evangeli- 
cals, "106, 133 

Lady Huntingdon and 

Methodism, 94 
Middlebury College, 284 
Miles Lane (tune), 156, 157, 

1 60, 1 66 

Millenium, 211, 248 
Milton, John, 151 



Missal, The, 5 

Missionary hymns, 190, 192, 193 

Mitre, The, 164 

Mob interference with The Great 

Revival, 52, 53, 74 
Mob interference with the 

Catholic Revival, 236 
Monastic hymns, 211 
Monk, Bishop, 235 
Monk, William Henry, 244, 269 
Montague, Lady Mary, 97 
Montgomery, James: 

his hymn, " Hail to the 
Lord's Anointed," 181-193 

sketch of, 184 

portrait of, 185 

birthplace of, 183 

autograph of, 191 

as poet and hyrnn writer, 

as hymn book editor, 66, 67 
Montgomery, Robert, 187 
Moody and Sankey Gospel 

Hymns, 134, 212, 244, 280 

and the Wesleys, 36, 37? 4, 

their hymns, 36, 40, 50, 97, 

98, 184 

and Cennick, 46, 51 
and Ingham, 97 
and Montgomery, 183, 184, 


Morison, Rev. John, 219 
Morning and Evening Hymns 

for a week, 200, 202, 204 
Morris, James, no 
Morris, Samuel, 84 
Morrison, Rev. John, 241 
Moule, Bishop Handley C. G., 

201, 202 

Muhlenberg, Rev. William A., 30 
Mure, Sir William, 12 
Murray, Rev. John, 219 

National Hymn (tune), 121, 122, 

124, 125, 128 

Neale, Rev. John Mason:- 
his hymn, "Art thou 
weary, art thou languid," 
sketch of, 235 
portrait of, 237 
autograph of, 239 
his work on Latin hymns, 

his work on Greek hymns, 

238, 252 
his place in Hymnody, 

Negro, The: his education, 284; 

his " spirituals," 287 
New Hymnal, The, 254 
New Lights, 84 
New side Presbyterians, 84 
New York: Trinity Church, 

122; St. Thomas', 124, 125 
New York Evangelist, 224 
Newburyport : 

Geo. Whitefield at, 81 
Old South Presbyterian 

Church, 81 
Whitefield's Monument, 81, 

" Newly Awakened in Hanover 

County," 84 

Newman, Cardinal, 76, 221, 226 
Newton, Rev. John: 

his hymn, " How sweet the 
Name of Jesus sounds," 

his career, 135 
portrait of, 132 
autograph of, 138 
his Olney Hymns, 130, 131, 

134, 142, 143, 147, 150 
his Authentic Narrative, 

135, 139 

Twenty-six Letters, 142, 150 



his friendship with Cowper, 
143, 146, 147, 148, 149, 
Nicoll, Rev. Sir Wm. Robertson, 

No-Popery movement, 235 

Occasional verses, moral and 
sacred, 155, 157, 159, 161, 162, 

Ocean Grove, Methodists at, 282 
Oglethorpe, Governor, 36 
Old Hundred, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 


Oliphant (tune), 78 
Olney, 131, 132, 138, 140, 143, 

Olney Hymns, 130, 131, 134, 147, 

150, 152 

Olver, George, 233, 244 
Orange Street Chapel, 108, no, 


Ordinal, Tallis', 177, 179 
Orton, Job, 168, 172 
Otherworldliness, 30, 211, 216 
Oxford Movement: 

its beginning at Oxford, 

221, 235 

at Cambridge, 235 

its spread, 235, 247 

its characteristic, 221 

its hymnody, 221-223, 230, 
239, 242, 247, 252 

its extreme development, 
235, 236, 246 

and church worship, 223, 
246, 247 

outside the Church of Eng- 
land, 257 

in Scotland, 269 
Oxford, University of, 221 

Palgrave, Francis T., 54 
Parish System, the English, 250 

Parker, Horatio, 122 
Parkhurst, Rev. Charles, 274 
Parting, Mark Rutherford on, 


Pax Dei (tune), 254 
Peace, Dr. Albert L., 271 
Pelican Island, 188 
Perfectionism, 116, 126 
Perronet, Rev. Edward: 

his hymn, " All hail the 
power of Jesus' Name," 
sketch of, 164 
his Occasional Verses, 155, 

i7> *59j 161, 162, 163 
his Mitre, 164 
and Wesley, 164 
and Lady Huntingdon, 165 
Perronet, Rev. Vincent, and 

family, 163, 164 
Phelps, Elizabeth S., 211 
Philadelphia, The dog's grave at 
the Lawrence Pepper house, 
1219 Walnut St., 263 

Highlands' Book Store, 290 
Phillipsburg, 286 
Pilgrim Fathers, 10, 129 
Plagiarism, 103 
Pleyel, Ignaz Joseph, 54 
Poetry and hymns, 152, 267 
Poets as hymn writers, 151 
Poet's Portfolio, 188 
Pope, Alexander, 141 
Prayer Book, see Book of Com- 
mon Prayer 
Predestination, 49, in 
Premillenarianism, 211, 248 
Presbrey, Otis F., 290 
Presbyterian Church: 
in America: 
inherits the ordinance of 

Psalm Singing, 20, 82 
Whitefield's influence on, 
81, 82, 84 


splits at " The Great Awak- 
ening," 81, 82 
begins to sing hymns, 81-84 
its " Psalmody Contro- 
versy," 82 

" New side Presbyterians," 84 
its first hymn writer 

(Davies), 83-92 
'its other hymn writers, 

" Old South Church " (New- 

buryport), 81, 82 
" Old Drawyer's " (Dela- 
ware), 87 
Easter and Good Friday in, 

its hymn books: 

Psalms and Hymns 
(1830), 87, 161; Presby- 
terian Hymnal ( 1 8 74 ) , 
129, 253; The Hymnal 
(1895) ; see Hymnal; 
The Hymnal revised 
(1911) ; see Hymnal re- 

in Scotland: 
see Scotland, Church of 

Free Church of 
in Ireland, 221 
Presbyterian Historical Society, 


Presbytery of Newcastle, 84 
"Presidents' Row" at Prince- 
ton, 88 
Princeton College and Davies, 86, 


Prison Amusements, 186 
Pro Patria (Parker's), 122 
Protestant Episcopal Church: 
its Hymnal Commission's 

Report, 119, 122 
its Hymnal of 1892, 121 
Tucker's setting of, 121, 



Hutchin's setting of, 


its New Hymnal (1916), 


Trinity Church, N. Y., 122 
St. Thomas' Church, N. Y., 


Psalm (metrical) Singing as a 
divine ordinance: 
set up by Calvin, 2, 4, 24 
adopted by English exiles 

at Geneva, 4-6 
in French Reformation, 2- 

5, 24 
in English Reformation, 5- 

8, 9, 24 
in Scottish Reformation, 17, 

24, 171 

in Dutch and Flemish Ref- 
ormations, 10 
in Wales, 70 

in American Colonies, 20, 82 
falls into decay, 24, 25, 36, 

challenged by (i) Watts, 

24-27, 105 

(2) The Methodist Revi- 
val, 36, 105 

(3) The Evangelical Re- 
vival, 70, 96, 105-109, 

131, 133 

(4) The Great Awaken- 
ing, 82, 83 

(5) In Scotland, 175, 176 
lingers in Church of Eng- 
land, 105 

maintained by some Pres- 
byterians, 20 

referred to by Longfellow, 

by Shakespeare, 9, 10 
Psalm Books (Psalters): 

of Calvin, 4, 6, 7, 8, n 

of English exiles, 6, 9, 17 



of Church of England 
(" Sternhold and Hop- 
kins,"), i, 6, 8, 9, 10, 24 
of Church of Scotland 
(1564), 10, 17 
(1650 "Rous"), 13, i4 } 
15, 18, 20, 82, 175 
of the Pilgrim Fathers 

( Ainsworth's) , 10 
of American Presbyterian- 
ism, 20, 82 
of Watts (Psalms of David 

imitated), 26, 36, 65 
of Montgomery (Songs of 

Zion), 182, 189, 192 
of The Book of Common 

Prayer (in prose), 8 
of William Barton, 18 
Psalm tunes, 4, 6, n, 67 
" Psalmody Controversy " in 
American Presbyterian Church, 

in Scotland, 175, 176 
Psalmody Convention, 20 

23rd, I2-2I, 76 
24th, 233 
" 5oth, 65 
72nd, 182-193 
looth, i n, 13 
i34th, 4, 6, 7 
Psalms and Hymns (1830), 87, 

Psalms of David imitated, The 

(Watts), 26, 36, 65 
Psalms of David in meeter, 
(1650), 13, 14, iS (title page), 
17-20, 175, 214 
Puritans, 5, 17, 18 
" Puseyite Errors," 221 

Quakers, 24 

Quarterly Journal of Prophecy, 

Rankin, Rev. Jeremiah Earnest 

His hymn, " God be with 
you," 279-290 

sketch of, 280 

portrait of, 283 

autograph of, 281 
Readings to the Aged, 238 
Recessional, Kipling's, 126, 128 
Record, The, 201 
Regent Square Church, 247 
Redhead No. 76 (tune), 


Reliance (tune), 118 
Revival of the i8th century: 

Methodist, see Methodist 

Evangelical, see Evangeli- 

Great Awakening, Si, 82 

its hymnody, 46, 182 
Revival hymn books, 134 

American, 120, 138 

English, 17, 18, 24 

French, 186 
Rippon, Rev. John, 86, 87, 92, 

155, 158, 159 
Rise and Progress of Religion in 

the Soul, 171 
Roberts, Rev. Daniel C.: 

his hymn, " God of our 
fathers," 119-129 

sketch of, 125 

portrait of, 127 

autograph of, 123 
Robinson, One-eyed, 83 
Roman Catholic Church, 221, 

236, 238 
Rous, Francis, 12, 18; portrait 

of, 19 
Rous's Version: 

its adoption, 13, 18, 175 

its popularity, 13, 14, 214 

title page of, 15 

in America, 20, 82 


Russian Hymn (tune), 122 
Rutherford, Mark, 288 

Sacred Hymns for the Children 

of God, 46, 49-51, 233 
Sacred Hymns for the use of 

Religious Societies, 50, 52 
Sackville College, 235, 236 
Saint Agnes (tune), 252 

Alban's; Cowper at, 144, 
146; Doddridge at, 169; 
Cathedral, 250 
Bartholomew, 253 
Bernard's, Edinburgh, 274, 


John's, Leith, 212 
Laurence's, Reading, 47, 49 
Margaret (tune), 271 
Margaret, Sisterhood of, 

23$, 236 
Mary Woolnoth, 138, 139, 

Mary's Hall, Brighton, 201, 

202, 203 

Michael (tune), n 
Paul (tune), 177, 179 
Paul's, Concord, 125 
Paul's, Haggerston, 262, 263 
Stephen the Sabaite, 240, 

Thomas', New York, 122, 


Sancho's grave, 263 
Sankey, Ira D., 134, 212, 244, 


Satan, 187 

Satchell, Captain, 233, 244 
Savannah, Wesley at, 36, 106 
Scotland: Church of: 

adopts Calvin's ideals of 

Psalmody, 17, 174 
its Reformation Psalm Book, 

10, 17 
in the Civil War, 17 


at Westminster Assembly, 

*7 3 18, 174 
its new Psalm Book (Rous) , 

13, 18, 174 
its people's devotion to the 

Psalms, 13, 14-17, 1 68 
proposal to "enlarge the 

Psalmody," 174 
the Psalmody Controversy, 

174, 176 

its first hymns (Para- 
phrases), 168, 174-178 
its disruption, 209-210 
its new Hymnody, 269 
its Scottish Hymnal, 268- 

Free Church of, 210 

continues the old Psalm- 
ody, 213 

Hymn writers of, 8, 215, 219 
Oxford Movement in, 269 
Scott, Sir Walter, 151 
Scottish Hymnal, The, 268, 269, 

270, 271, 278 
Second Advent, 211, 215 
Select Hymns and Anthems, 158 
Shakespeare, 9, 10, 118, 141, 205 
Sheffield, 186, 187 
Sheffield Register, 186 
Snirley, Hon. and Rev. 

his hymn, "Sweet the mo- 
ments, rich in blessing," 

sketch of, 100 
portrait of, 95 
Shrubsole, William, 157, 163, 

164, 166 

Singer, Elizabeth, 28 
Sisterhood of S. Margaret, 235, 


Sloan, Rev. J. M., 212 
Smith, H. Porter, 280 
Smith, Rev. J. Ritchie, 112 


Smith, Rev. Sydney, 276 
Societies, 37, 50 

Solemn League and Covenant, 17 
Song of the New Creation, 215 
Songs of Zion, 182, 189, 192 
Southampton, 23, 28 
Spectator, The, 20, 58 
Spiritual Songs for social wor- 
ship, 1 18 
Spirituals, 287 
Stead, W. T., 177 
Stephanos (tune), 243 
Sternhold and Hopkins, 8 
Stevens, Bishop Wm. Bacon, 204 
Stockport (tune), 64, 65, 66, 67 
Stone, Rev. Samuel John: 

his hymn, "The Church's 
one Foundation," 255-267 

sketch of, 260 

portrait of, 261 

autograph of, 259 

his hymns and poems, 266 

his dog's grave, 263 
Strasburg, 4 
" Subject-matter of Praise," 20, 

Sunday school hymns: see 

Synge, Mrs., 202 

Tarn o' Shanter, 124 

Tallis (tune), 179 

Tallis' Canon (tune), 79 

Taxation no Tyranny, 120 

Taylor, Ann and Jane, 230 

Tennent, Rev. Gilbert, 88, 90 

Tennyson, Lord, 24, 151, 212, 


Thackeray, Wm. M., 217, 262 
Theobalds, 30, 32 
Thome, Edward H., 252 
Thoughts in verse on Sacred 

Subjects, 200 
Ticonderoga, 76 

Tinkering of hymns, 40, 178, 288 
Tomer, William G., 282, 285, 

286, 288 

Toplady, Rev. Augustus M.: - 
on the " God of elegance," 

his hymn, " Rock of Ages," 

his relation to Methodism, 


his Church of England 
hymn book, 71, 108 

sketch of, 1 08 

portrait of, 109 

autograph of, 107 

his controversy with Wes- 
ley, in, 112, 116, 120 

and the American colonies, 


Toplady (tune), 118 
Torquay, 250 

Translations and Paraphrases of 

of 1745, 175, i?8 

of 1781, 176, 178, 179, 

(title page), 175, 213 
Treasury of sacred Song, 54 
Trevecca, 68, 71, 78, 96 
Trevelyan, Sir Geo. Otto, 138 
Trinity Church, New York, 122 
" Troubles at Frankfort, The," 
Tucker's Hymnal, 121, 122 

Genevan, 4, n 

old Psalm tunes, 67 

florid, 67 

parlor music school, 124 

four-part-song style, 206 

Anglican, 124 

the two types: choir and 
congregational, 67 

Bradbury's, 206 
Tunes referred to: 

Aurelia, 259 


Autumn, n 

Balerma, 121, 179 

Benediction, 254 

Bullinger, 244 

Caersalem, 77, 78 

Coleshill, 177 

Coronation, 160, 166 

Dismissal, 78 

Dundee, 21, 179 

Ellers, 254 

Flowers of the Forest, The, 


French, 21, 179 
German Hymn, 54 
God be with you, 285 
Green Sleeves, 9 
Heber, 213 
Horsley, 231 

Just As I Am (Barnby), 206 
Kilmarnock, 177 
Log College, 125 
Lux Benigna, 76, 271 
Meditation, 231 
Miles Lane, 156, 157, 160, 

1 66 
National Hymn, 121, 122, 

124, 125, 128 
Old Hundred, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 

10, ii 

Oliphant, 78 

Ordinal (Tallis), 177, 179 
Pax Dei, 254 

Pro Patria (Parker), 122 
Redhead No. 76, 118 
Reliance, 118 
Russian Hymn, 122 
St. Agnes, 252 
St. Margaret, 271 
St. Michael, n 
St. Paul, 177, 179 
Stephanos, 243 
Stockport, 64, 65, 66, 67 
Tallis, 177, 179 
Tallis' ordinal, 177, 179 


There is a Green Hill 
(Gounod), 231 

Toplady, 118 

Walden, 21 

Walworth, 65 

What a Friend we have in 
Jesus, 284 

Woodworth, 206 
Twenty-six letters, 142, 150 
" Tye thy mare, Tom boye," 9 

Union Harmony, 160 
Unitarian hymn books, 182 
United Presbyterian Church, 20 
Unwin, Rev. Morley, 146 

Verses for Holy Seasons, 227 
Victoria, Queen, 262, 274 
Viner, Wm. L., 78 
Virginia, in i8th century, 83; 

Church of England in, 83; 

Davies in, 80; Whitefield in, 


Wainwright, John, 64, 65, 66, 67 

Walden (tune), 21 


and the Great Revival, 69- 

TO, 74 

Wesley in, 69, 75 
Whitefield in, 69, 70 
its Calvinistic Methodist 

Church, 70 
Lady Huntingdon's College 

in, 68, 71, 78, 96 
its hymns, 70, 73, 75 
Watt and the Gates, The, 112 
Walnut Street (1219), Philadel- 
phia (The Lawrence Pepper 
house), 263 
Walpole, Horace, 96 
Walworth (tune), 65 
Wanderer in Switzerland r The, 


War Etchings, 126 

Warren, George William, 121, 

Washington, D. C., 280, 282, 

284, 285 

Washington, George, 88 
Watts, Rev. Isaac: 

his hymn, "There is a land 

of pure delight," 22-32 
sketch of, 23, 28 
portrait of, 29 
his Hymns and Spiritual 
Songs, 22, 23, 25, 27, 36, 

his "Renovation of [Inde- 
pendent] Psalmody," 24, 
26, 27, 30 

his Psalms of David im- 
itated, 26, 36, 65 
popularity of his hymns, 

his "Psalms and Hymns" 

in The Great Awakening, 

in Virginia, 84 

in Scotland, 175 
his hymns the model of 

hymn writing, 84, 133, 

and Doddridge (" The 

School of Watts"), 27, 

168, 171 
his hostility to the Revival, 


"Watts's whims," 27 
Beauties of Dr. Watts, &c., 


his hymns for children, 230 
his missionary " Psalm," 


" We and I " hymns, 103, 247 
Welsh Revival. See Wales 
Wesley, Rev. Charles: 

as poet laureate of the 


Methodist movement, 34, 


the hymn, " Jesus, Lover of 
my soul," 33-44 

his probable authorship of 
it, 38-41 

sketch of, 34-38 

portrait of, 35 

his attitude toward Method- 
ism, 38 

his seven thousand hymns, 


his children's hymns, 230 
Wesley, Rev. John: 

as leader of the Methodist 

movement, 34, 37, 38 
sketch of, 34-38 
his American mission, 36, 

inaugurates hymn singing at 

Savannah, 36 
his first hymn book, 36 
and the Moravians, 36, 37, 

40, 51 

his "Societies," 37 
his Arminianism, 46* 49, 50, 

no, in 
his breach with Whitcfield, 

49) 50? 69, 96 

his controversy with Top- 
lady, III, 112, Il6, 120 

his Perfectionism, 116, 126 

in Wales, 69, 75 

his " Journal," 60 

his Calm Address to the 

American Colonies, 120 
his Colin, of Hymns for . . . 

Methodists, 38, 40 
his criticisms of Charles's 

hymns, 40, 42 
his dislike of amatory 

hymns, 40, 98 
and Cennick, 46, 49, 50 
and Watts, 36, 171 


IT hose which are the subjects of the Studies are printed in Italics.] 


A few more years shall roll 216 

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide 43 

All hail the power of Jesus' Name 154-166 

All hail the power of Jesus' grace . , 158 

All people that on earth do dwell i-n 

Art thou weary, art thou languid 232-242 

Before the Lord we bow 129 

Beyond the smiling and the weeping 218 

Children of the heavenly King . . 45-55? 69, 184 

Christian, dost thou see them 239 

Christians, awake! salute the happy morn 56-67 

Come, Saviour Jesus, from above - - - 60 

Eternal Ruler .of the ceaseless round *28 

Far from the world, Lord, I flee 152 

Give me the wings of faith to rise . .; 2 7 

Glorious things of thee are spoken . *32 

Go, labor on: spend, and be spent 214 

God be with you till we meet again v . 279-290 

God moves in a mysterious way 142-153 

God of our fathers, known of old . . .... .......... 126 

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand .110-129 

Gracel 'tis a charming sound 180 


Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost , 267 

Great God of wonders, all Thy ways 87 

Guide me, Thou great Jehovah 54? 68-79, 94, 96 

Hail to the Lord's Anointed 181-193 

Hark! my soul, it is the Lord ' 152 

Hark, the glad sound! the Saviour comes 179 

Hark! the herald angels sing , . 57> 66 

Here, my Lord, I see Thee face to face 212 

How gentle God's commands 1 79 

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds 130-141 

Hushed was the evening hymn 230 

/ heard the voice of Jesus say 207-219 

I lay my sins on Jesus 209, 213 

I was a wandering sheep 213 

I would not live alway, I ask not to stay 30 

Jerusalem the golden 238, 253, 259 

Jesu, dulcis memoria '. . . . 140 

Jesus, I love Thy charming Name 179 

Jesus, Lover of my soul 33~44? 105, 108, 113 

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 193 

Jesus, the very thought of Thee 140 

Jesus, where'er Thy people meet 148, 152 

Just as I am, without one plea 194-206, 221 

Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill! .... 212 

Lead, kindly Light 43, 76, 226, 271 

Lord, I am Thine , entirely Thine 80-92 

Lord of the Sabbath, hear us pray 180 

My former hopes are dead 148 

My God, and Father, while I stray 198 

My God, and is Thy table spread 179 


Now from Bethlehem let us fare 239 

day of rest and gladness 265 

for a closer walk with God 152 

God, beneath Thy guiding hand 129 

God of Bethel, by whose hand 167-180 

happy day that fixed my choice 179 

Jesus, King most wonderful 140 

little town of Bethlehem 66, 226 

Lord of Hosts, almighty King 129 

Lord Divine, that stooped to share 278 

Love that wilt not let me go 268-278 

O'er the gloomy hills of darkness 73 

Our fathers' God, from out whose hand 128 

Pour out the Spirit from on high 191 

Quiet, Lord, my froward heart 134 

Rock of Ages cleft for me . .. 14, 104-118, 121, 156 

Rock of Israel, cleft for me 115 

Saviour, again, to Thy dear Name we raise 245-254 

See Israel's gentle Shepherd stand 179 

Sometimes a Light surprises 148, 152 

Sunset and evening star 270 

Sweet the moments, rich in blessing 93-103 

Swing low, sweet chariot 287 

The Church has waited long 215 

The Church's one Foundation 255-267 

The day is past and over 239 

The day of resurrection 239 

The God of glory sends His summons forth 65 

The King of love my Shepherd is 21, 241 

The Lord my pasture shall prepare 20 


The Lord my Shepherd is 21 

The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want 1221, 175 

The morning, the bright and the beautiful morning . . 213 

The Spirit breathes upon the word 148 

There is a fountain filled with blood 152 

There is a green hill far away 220-231 

There is a land of pure delight 22-32, 54, 55, 108 

Watchman, tell us of the night 233 

We sing to Thee, Thou Son of God 51 

Weary of earth and laden with my sin 266 

What a Friend we have in Jesus 282 

When I survey the wondrous cross 217 

When the weary, seeking rest 212 

Where is the blessedness I knew 148 

While my Jesus I'm possessing gg, 100 

Yet there is room: the Lamb's bright hall of song . . 212